Thirteen high school teams from various locations in New Jersey competed in Caldwell University’s Eighth Annual Crime Scene Competition on Sat. March 22. Lacordaire Academy in Montclair took first place honors. Saddle Brook High School was a close second, with Passaic Technical School scoring in third place. Simulated crime scenes were set up across the campus and student detectives had to develop a theory of the crime scene based on evidence collected at the site. Like real-life forensic experts, students had to secure the crime scene, collect fingerprints and physical evidence, conduct tests on powders and fibers in the science labs, sketch the crime scene, create a composite sketch of the suspect using computer software, and interview witnesses. Detective Joseph Iuliani from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit gave a lecture to students on Cyber Bullying/Cyber Crimes, the theme of this year’s program. Detective Anthony Aceste of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and an adjunct lecturer in criminal justice at Caldwell University ran a professional development workshop for the teachers of the participating schools entitled, “Best Practices in Crime Scene Processing.” Retired and current law enforcement professionals from Caldwell and neighboring towns served as judges.
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