NewsLocal News


Murder investigation demo gives TAMUCC students a chance to standout

Posted at 8:23 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 12:43:13-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx — It was an unusual lunch time at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) on Thursday. Some passerbys were surprised to see a student on the floor of the University Center Rotunda with a fake gunshot on his head.

Criminal justice students at TAMUCC took part in a murder investigation demonstration.

Students like Dominique Barrientez were tasked with canvasing the "evidence" and talking to "witnesses" to solve the murder investigation demonstration.

“I rather learn hands-on then getting thrown into a field that I don’t know. But this is actually giving me more hope and engagement into what I want to do in the future. So, I’m glad they give us hands-on demos like this,” Barrientez said, a senior in criminal justice.

This is the fifth year of the demonstration and Professor of Criminal Justice Wendi Pollock said it’s grown each year.

“We realized that our students didn’t have a good sense of all of the rules in the criminal justice system. So, we kept getting questions like what jobs can I do or who does that in the system? When we realized that, we put this on in a bigger way," Socials Sciences department chair Pollock said.

How they stepped up this year was welcoming professionals in that take part regularly in criminal justice investigations, from the paramedics that treat someone on scene to the lawyers and judges in the courtroom.

Barrientez found this to be very beneficial.

“We met Lisa Greenberg. It’s awesome that she’s here since she’s a criminal defense attorney and she gets to let us know what she does behind the scenes and everything has to go pass through her,” Barrientez said.

According to Corpus Christi Police Departments Crime Lab Manager of the Forensic Services Division, Robert May, there’s a shortage of qualified crime scene investigator candidates.

Pollock said students with this experience will be better candidates.

“We've recently interviewed police departments (like) Corpus Christi Police Department and what we found is that people who have training that is more realistic to their job are happier in their jobs. So, we’re happy to give them very realistic training," Pollock said.

CCPD’s Forensic Services Division partners with TAMUCC to give students more hands on work during internships. The two entities try keep the talent local, but it can be a competitive position to obtain.

At full capacity, CCPD employs 11 CSI's. They are working to fill three open positions, the most they've had in several years.

For the latest local news updates, click here, or download the KRIS 6 News App.