A new crime scene house for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s forensic science program helps prepare students to work at real crime scenes.
Michael Adamowicz, director of the forensic science program, said during his interview for his position in 2016 that he came up with the idea of a new crime scene house for the forensic science program.
The forensics program had a crime scene house, but Adamowicz said it was in “really terrible shape.” He said the university intended to demolish the building, but Adamowicz pointed out in that job interview that having a crime scene house is a standard feature of a good medical science program. -legal. Construction on the property began in 2018, he said.
This semester, students were able to work on a mock homicide case at the crime scene home, Adamowicz said. He said having a crime scene house opens up lots of opportunities for students to practice with different simulated crime scenes, which helps them better prepare for the actual crime scenes they will be working on. in the future.
“We can do anything we can imagine,” Adamowicz said. “It’s nice to have this space and to have it open is that we can turn it into anything our imagination can imagine.”
In the new crime scene house, there is a living room, a bathroom and a bedroom on the first floor, Adamowicz said. There’s also a kitchen area, but it’s currently just an empty space that students can use to stage themselves before entering one of the rooms, he said.
There’s a metal spiral staircase that goes up to a small second floor, he said. There used to be a dividing wall, so it was turned into two small bedrooms, but they opened it up to a slightly larger space, Adamowicz said. The floor is not used for stages, but is used for storage and electronics, he said.
“It’s a pretty standard small single-family home,” he said.
The exterior of the house includes a yard and a car which can also be used for different types of crime scenes, he said.
Adamowicz said the house will be used primarily by upper-level forensic science students, but students in the introductory forensic science course will be able to visit it at least once.
“It gives students more hands-on experience compared to something we can just replicate in a classroom,” said Molly Reil, associate professor of practice.
Before construction of the new crime scene house was completed, Adamowicz said the program used a small room in the basement of Philly Hall to simulate crime scenes. He said it was inefficient because only two students could work in the room at a time.
“There’s not much we can do with it,” he said. “It’s very cramped. People spent their entire class period standing in the hallway waiting to enter the room to do their 10 minutes of work.
With the new crime scene house, Adamowicz said everyone can be involved because there’s plenty of space inside and out.
“It’s better because it’s more realistic and it’s a much better use of space,” he said.
Adamowicz said he would like to open the house as a training facility for local law enforcement as well as the UNL Police Department.
“It’s an option that we will explore and offer them, especially in the summer when we don’t have students,” he said. “We try to share it in other ways to get the most out of it.”
Riel said the students have so far enjoyed working in the crime scene house and are ready for more experiences there.
“Students are really excited to have something like this in our program again,” Riel said. “I think they’re looking forward to more real-life scenarios that they can experience and interact with.”