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Pa. students learn about investigations while solving mock homicides

The Law Enforcement Club at a high school introduces students to investigative methods and a career in law enforcement



By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

SUNBURY, Pa. — Shikellamy Law Enforcement Club students are probing a mock homicide after they were tasked to discover clues inside a makeshift crime scene inside the high school Wednesday.

Shikellamy Police Chief Shawn Williams, who heads the Law Enforcement Club, presented students with the opportunity to investigate the makeshift crime scene inside a stairwell in the high school as part of the club’s yearly activities.

“I am loving this,” 16-year-old Cheyanna Rains said. “I am learning so much and I want to be in law enforcement, so this is such a great experience.”

Williams set up the scene that allowed students to see what it’s like for a real homicide detective when they arrive to an incident.

Williams, a retired corporal in the state police, has investigated dozens of homicides during his career as a homicide investigator with the state police.

“You get to learn what it’s like to be at a scene,” 15-year-old Logan Wiest said. “You get to find clues and then come up with an idea of what happened.”

On Wednesday, Williams was standing in the stairwell with police tape around the scene as students were led in by Principal Marc Freeman.

Williams explained the situation and said students must sign in to the scene, take notes and begin their investigations.

“We had a great time solving this investigation together,” he said. “I am thrilled the students enjoy this activity and continue to engage with one another.”

Williams said the students were discussing the case with each other as they looked for clues.

“Our discussions were outstanding and I’m very impressed with their thinking and deduction skills,” he said. “This activity truly tests learning and observation abilities. It is a pleasure to present and teach all of them.”

Superintendent Jason Bendle said he was impressed with Williams and the Law Enforcement Club participation.

“The program that Chief Williams put on for the students today was extremely professional and interactive,” Bendle said. “I watched students think critically and problem solve during the session. I am proud that our district is participating with the development of a pipeline for potential careers in law enforcement for men and women.”

Williams said he also wanted to thank the staff at Shikellamy for assisting in the activity and to The Salvation Army for donating some of the crime scene materials.

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