Behind the crime tape - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Behind the crime tape

March 9, 2007

Valdosta - Armed with gloves, a camera and a clip board, these new recruits examine blood spatter, dust for prints and study the man murdered from what seems to be a card game gone array.

It's part of a mock crime scene, set up by the Valdosta Police to give the community an idea of what goes on behind the crime tape.  "I hope they understand more what we do, what we do for the community, and how they can help," says Crime Scene Technician Ray McGraw.

The crime scene is just one program offered through the Citizens Police Academy, where Valdostans like Jevin Brown can come see how the police department works and what they do.  "When I grow up I want to be in the CIA or Secret Service, either or. I know I've got to start out in the patrol service and the Valdosta Police Department helped me out with that. This is early training before I do the real thing."

The police hope that giving them this inside look, they'll see that their jobs are not as easy as they appear on popular crime TV shows.  "It gives them an idea and not just the glamour you see on TV and everything you see on TV now. It gives them a first hand experience of everything that goes on," McGraw says.

"CSI and all other law enforcement shows make it look easy, but in real life, it's really hard. There is more work to be done," Brown says.

And give anyone looking for a future in law enforcement, something to look forward to.  "I can't wait to get out there on the police force and do it. Serve the community," Brown exclaims.

The Valdosta Fire Department hopes to begin a similar program next fall.