Simulations of investigations: DeSales crime scene house

By Andrew Beers

Staff Writer

DeSales has established itself of having credible nursing, business and criminal justice programs. These fine programs have been backed by the school to give students major perks in their field and a quality outside experience.

For nursing majors, DeSales built a simulation lab in Gambet for students to get hands-on experience in their field. For business majors, computer labs for research are open to students in Gambet and an MBA program is available. Until recently, the criminal justice department only had access to the forensic lab in the basement of Dooling, but that has changed due to a recent purchase under the criminal justice program. Located off campus on Taylor Drive is the school’s first crime scene house. The house allows students to experience simulated murders, terrorist threats, national disasters, and other mock crime scenes. “We are very excited to have a mock crime scene house here at DeSales University,” said Director of Masters of Arts Criminal Justice program, Joe Walsh. “It gives our students handson practical experience in investigating criminal activity.”

In the crime scene house, several rooms are located inside to give students different experiences as they investigate. Students will use the skills they learn in class, such as collecting forensic evidence, executing search warrants, and utilizing crime scene photography, while also using the tools given to them to solve the investigation. They will get the opportunity to use professional-grade equipment as they maneuver through each simulation suited for their major. The crime scene house is open to criminal justice, homeland security, political science and law and society majors. On site is a classroom for the professors to incorporate their teachings while cases are being simulated.

The stone house was turned into a crime scene house to entice younger students into joining the criminal justice program. Since DeSales is a female-dominated school and the criminal justice program is male-dominated, the crime scene house’s objective is to bring more male students into the program and the school to create a balance on campus.

Students have been participating in the simulations done at the crime scene house. A video preview of the house has been posted on the DeSales website for prospective students to view and attract them to the program and the campus. The crime scene house is, of course, used for the upperclassmen criminal justice majors before they enter the field after graduation. This means that younger students in the criminal justice program have something to look forward to in the future.

Professor Seip is the instructor of the program and has the ins-and-outs of the crime scene house. Although many different majors in the criminal justice department use the crime scene house, Seip will be the most informative to students and will also be conducting simulations for the school year. This is definitely a major advancement for the Criminal Justice Department at DeSales.

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