Junior CSI investigators go ‘beyond what you see on TV’

Under the watchful eye of retired Baltimore City Police Homicide Detective Earl Kratsch, a group of middle-schoolers equipped with plastic gloves, clipboards and cameras descended upon a stolen pickup truck, searching for evidence.

“Two males robbed Royal Farms and stole cigarettes and money. As they were leaving, one tripped as if shot,” said Emma Zepp, 12, as she described the situation.

Emma and her peers weren’t searching for real blood and firearms on Tuesday afternoon — luckily — the situation was a hypothetical challenge set up as part of the final exam for the Junior CSI Academy, a program that teaches middle-schoolers about crime scene investigation with instruction from real law enforcement professionals.

Emma said she enrolled in the program because she was interested in how police solve crimes and investigate crime scenes. She was surprised to learn how much information investigators can glean from footprints.