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Public invited to attend UMPI: CSI event

Campus and community members will have a chance to try their hand at crime scene investigation when University of Maine at Presque Isle students host UMPI:CSI on Tuesday, March 15 in the Campus Center’s Multi-Purpose Room. Two sessions will be held: from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. UMPI:CSI is being sponsored by the Student Activities Office and the Criminal Justice majors.

Organizers are working with two of the region’s police detectives to put on the event, which involves recreating an actual crime scene and having people work in groups to review the scene, look for clues, and make a conclusion about what happened. Detective Adam R. Stoutamyer of the Maine State Police, Criminal Investigation Division III, and Detective Bill Scull of the Presque Isle Police Department will be overseeing activities at the mock crime scene.

According to April Sue Platt, UMPI’s Area Coordinator of Student Activities, the event will also include information stations where participants will learn techniques such as how fingerprints are taken and how footprints are extracted from a crime scene. The Maine State Police Criminal Investigations Division Mobile Crime Scene Unit van will serve as one of those information stations. At the end of the event, participants will get to find out what actually happened. The crime scene is based on an actual event that took place in Aroostook County.

This unique event is happening at UMPI for several reasons. Platt said that she had seen similar events done at other schools. “Especially with the popularity of crime scene investigation type TV shows, this just really seems to be an event that piques people’s interest,” she said.

Platt brought the idea to the Student Activities Office, which in turn partnered with the Criminal Justice majors to put on the event. Because UMPI has a Criminal Justice program, Platt said it made a lot of sense to have the students help to coordinate efforts. The event allows students to do hands-on activities related to their degrees, showcase their program to the campus and community, and share with people some of the work that happens in the criminal justice field.

This event is free and open to the public, but Platt noted that UMPI:CSI is for mature audiences as a real crime scene is being recreated for the event. Anyone under 16 attending the event must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact Platt at 768-9582 or