South Piedmont Community College will launch a two-year degree program for aspiring crime scene technicians this fall.
Applications are now being accepted for the Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology-Forensic Science. Classes start Aug. 14.
“Whether you’ve grown up wanting to be a crime scene technician or you’re thinking about changing careers, this program is for you,” said Director of Public Safety Curriculum Programs Deborah Barrett.
“You’ll train using real-life equipment. You’ll learn from professionals with several local agencies. You’ll graduate prepared to succeed in a high-demand field.”
South Piedmont worked closely with the Union County Sheriff’s Office to develop the new forensic science degree.
“Crime scene investigators are like the gatekeepers of evidence. They are responsible for locating, documenting, preserving, packaging, and collecting items of evidentiary value from crime scenes. The expectations of law enforcement agencies across the United States have risen in recent years, including the expectations of crime scene investigators. Special skills must be developed to recognize the evidentiary value of seemingly inconspicuous items. Crime scene investigators are explicitly trained to treat everything as evidence unless proven otherwise. They are necessary for proper scene documentation and proper evidence collection,” Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab Director Lindsey Richards.
“South Piedmont Community College recognizes the need for forensic science education in this region and wants to work with the Union County Sheriff’s Office to fill this void. Educating the students of today will create increasingly qualified crime scene investigators in the future.”
During the program, students will learn skills including how to secure a crime scene, collect fingerprints, analyze weapons, determine the trajectories of bullets, take crime scene photographs, and write reports.
Students will practice their skills on equipment donated by the UCSO. Their instructors will be forensics professionals representing law enforcement agencies throughout western and central North Carolina.
“Several agencies in our area have a need for crime scene technicians. They’re having to look at out-of-state candidates for positions they can’t fill. This program was created to ensure we have a pipeline of crime scene professionals right here in our community,” Barrett said.