CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Wendi Pollock and Dr. Gabriel Ferreya, Assistant Professors of Criminal Justice at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, assembled a crime scene demonstration March 22, at the Island University’s Hector P. Garcia Plaza to provide an advanced understanding of the criminal justice system and its various components from forensics to policing. The event allowed Islander students to analyze a crime scene and speak with local professionals while gaining insight into the process of collecting evidence, along with the inner workings of crime labs, court processes and offender motivations.
At the crime scene set up – complete with a life-like dummy, blood and crime scene markers – students listened to presentations given by their professors, along with crime scene experts from the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) and the District Attorney’s (DA) office.
“The relationship we have with our local agencies allows them to come out and show our students that what we are teaching them applies in the real world,” said Pollock. “It helps our recent graduates walk into places like the CCPD and DA’s Office, ready to work.”
During the demonstration, professors showed students the difference between what they see on television in comparison to what’s happening in real life. For example, while this demo was close to what someone in the field may encounter, professors couldn’t recreate details like the unique smell of a decaying body.
Ashley Durand, a senior who is double majoring in criminal justice and biomedical sciences with a concentration in forensics, was selected by Pollock and Ferreya to help host the crime scene and walk underclassman through the demonstration.
“Events like this make me excited to pursue work using my degree,” said Durand. “I want to go into crime scene investigation and eventually work as a special agent.”
Pollock and Ferreya told students that the demonstration gave a good picture of criminal justice work – as a whole – from forensics, to law, police work, criminology and criminal motivations.
“There’s a shared custody of responsibility through the entire process,” said Pollock. “We want to be able to connect all those pieces and for students to begin to see that this is not a simple one-person job, but instead, a very complex picture.”
To learn more about the criminal justice program at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, go to http://cla.tamucc.edu/socialsciences/criminal_justice/cj_index.html.