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Behind The Scenes: SCPD Crime Lab Visit

Detective John Aston demonstrates how to dust for fingerprints.

South Hills Community News Release

LEWISTOWN — Detective John Aston of the State College Police Department (SCPD) provided some hands-on experience for first-year Criminal Justice students at South Hills School of Business & Technology.

Students were first given a tour of the SCPD Crime Lab, and then Detective Aston demonstrated different methods to dissect evidence from crime scenes to help solve cases. He explained to the students that fingerprints and DNA are very helpful tools, but gathering and processing the evidence isn’t the quick process that you see on television.

After being shown a variety of ways to collect fingerprints from many different objects such as cell phones, bottles, pieces of paper, and bullet cartridges, the students were able to participate in hands-on activities to pull the fingerprints themselves using an array of methods and tools.

The students also helped conduct experiments to confirm the evidence of blood from crime scenes. The detectives demonstrated how Luminol works, enabling them to spot blood evidence that is unseen to the naked eye.

Jennifer Stover, Program Coordinator and Instructor for the Criminal Justice program at the South Hills State College Main Campus, stated that “The trip to the SCPD Crime Lab was an unforgettable experience for our students. Most people do not get the opportunity to get such an “up-close and personal” view into a potential career field. The students appreciated the trip, and the experience was considered very worthwhile due to the wealth of things they learned. They were particularly impressed by the insights they gained into many different aspects of forensics and the chance to do hands-on activities.”

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Behind The Scenes: SCPD Crime Lab Visit
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