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At this summer camp Maui students process crime scenes and watch an autopsy

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The Maui Police Department hosted its 10th CSI Camp for high school students. Photo Courtesy: MPD

Ten Maui high school students learned about crime scene photography, scene diagramming, evidence identification, documentation and collection, testing for blood and seized drugs, fingerprints, cybercrimes, impression evidence and pathology at the Maui Police Deparment’s 10th CSI Camp.

The teenagers processed mock crime scenes and testified in mock trials. They even witnessed an autopsy.

MPD held a graduation ceremony Friday — for the juniors and seniors from Kamehameha Schools Maui, Kīhei Charter School, King Keakaulike High School, Maui High School and Seabury Hall — who completed 40 hours of instruction during the week-long program. 

To qualify, the students had to submit an application, essay and letter of reference from a teacher before going through a 15-minute interview. This procedure allows students to experience an admission process similar to what they may encounter throughout their working careers, including an evaluation after completing the program.

The camp is offered to participants at no cost and is hosted annually by MPD, with with exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal of the Crime Scene Investigation Camp is to introduce students to law enforcement-related careers and to inspire them to appreciate their continuing studies in science classes. 

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The program had 30 guest presenters, including instructors from MPD, the Maui Fire Department, the Maui Prosecutors Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Evidence Response Team. They offered hands-on demonstrations to camp attendees.

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Once proficient in the standard crime scene investigation methods and techniques learned, the students were tasked with processing mock crime scenes; presenting their unique crime scenes to the rest of the group; and testifying in mock court regarding their documentation and evidence handling procedures.  

The Maui Prosecutors Office coordinated sessions in the Wailuku Courthouse, which included witnessing judicial proceedings. They practiced courtroom testimony as forensic experts by testifying on the witness stand in mock court fashion with questions from prosecutors relating to the crime scenes processed during the week.

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