MALONE – Students in a new Forensic Science class at North Country Community College got an in-the-field lesson in crime scene investigation recently, courtesy of a retired state police senior investigator.
Allan Wright, who retired in 2014 after a 30-year career with the New York State Police, walked students in Donna Whitelaw’s class through a mock crime scene on the lawn on the college’s Malone campus last week. The scene featured a crime “victim,” AKA college IT staffer Matt Trombly, lying on the ground with pieces of evidence scattered around him, marked with pink flags.
“We’re setting the stage of how you approach a scene, how you document it and how you collect evidence,” Whitelaw said. “Then we’ll go into how it’s processed a little later. This is just the beginning of the process, but we’re telling the students how important it is to get everything right because the evidence is going to be in court someday.”
Whitelaw, a former St. Lawrence County coroner, said she got to know Wright when he was the senior investigator in charge of the state police Troop B Forensic Identification Unit. He now runs his own collision reconstruction and forensic training company, AllWright Forensics.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of professionals like Allan during my career, and it’s exciting to have someone with his level of expertise guest instruct my students,” Whitelaw said. “Getting students out of the classroom, into the field and working side by side with the professionals is a great way to enrich their learning experiences at the college.”
Whitelaw said this is a “trial run” for the new Forensic Science class, which will also cover subjects like DNA collection and processing, hair and fiber identification and forensic recovery of a human skeleton. She hopes to offer the class to students at the college’s Malone and Saranac Lake campuses in the future.
About North Country Community College: As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with 90,000 inhabitants. The college maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique Colleges and Universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information contact Stacie Hurwitch, Executive Assistant to the President at firstname.lastname@example.org.