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New Criminal Justice Lab at Vol State in the Works

Students working on fingerprinting in the Vol State Criminal Lab (photo courtesy of Public Relations)
Students working on fingerprinting in the Vol State Criminal Justice Lab (photo courtesy of Public Relations)

By Harley Keene

The Criminal Justice Lab at Volunteer State Community College in the Watlington Field House building will be getting some additions in the future to better train students studying criminal justice.

The lab will expand in order to make more realistic crime scenes for the criminal justice classes. “They are using it now. They will be working on adding more features over the next few months,” said Public Relations director Eric Melcher

The Criminal Justice classes at Vol State focus on law enforcement, investigation, criminal law, and corrections.

In the new lab, instructors will be able to set up realistic crime scenes that students in the program can work on processing over the course of several days. This was an issue in the past, as the instructors would have to pick up every mock crime scene after each class.

With a larger dedicated space, it also makes it easier for students in the program to learn topics like fingerprinting and evidence collection.

The instructors in the criminal justice department have extensive backgrounds in law enforcement. Metro Nashville Police Lieutenant Frank Ragains works to develop the mock crime scenes the students use for practice.

“I was in law enforcement for ten years, mainly at the Gallatin Police Department,” said Criminal Justice director Bradley Tracy.

Vol State also launched a Crime Scene Investigation class this semester, as well as Interview and Interrogation. The new lab will house an interview and interrogation room, as well as a courtroom setting. The lab will also come equipped with a use-of-force simulator that the college has been using for years now.

Students also get to work with drones and squad cars.

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