Middle schoolers, police build relationships through mock investigation

Local News

Middle school campers and police officers are building relationships this week through a mock investigation.

“I want to be in an experience like a cop, like I want to be in their shoes,” Camper Raymond Reid said. “That’s one of the main reasons why I love coming here. It’s more about the events of what happened, like what’s happening right now… we’re doing a lot of things that’s like what cops do.” 

 The gym inside Bridge of Grace church has been transformed into a crime scene. Evidence was scattered about. Witnesses were interviewed and an officer guarded the scene.

The week-long investigation shows middle schoolers what police officers really do on the job.

“The biggest thing we hope to get out of it is the kids develop a relationship with us and see us as officers, but also as people in the community that care about them and care about what’s going on in general,” Officer Chris McAfee explained. 

It’s done through a mock crime with witnesses and evidence connected to a classic fairy tale.  Each camper is assigned a role, like crime scene tech. There is even a public information officer there to answer questions from the media. We asked him what police know and what they are trying to figure out.

“I only know is the case I’m working on is Jack and Beanstalk,” Reid explained while playing the role of an officer. “So far I don’t know what’s happened in it or what other people are inside of it. I’m trying to figure out is what happened who’s in there.”

Each day represents a different step in the process. They’ll be getting some DNA and fingerprint results as well as information from the coroner’s report Wednesday. After that, they’ll build a case to present to a prosecutor. 

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