On March 25, over 80 students competed in the thirteenth annual Robert B. Fram CSI Challenge, hosted by the Criminal Justice Student Association. Three of the teams from Guelph Humber University placed first, second and third: the Canadian Snow Inspectors, Canadian’s Say I’m Sorry and Official Poutine Party, respectively, taking home the Dine Cup for the second year in a row. The Mount teams followed closely behind.
Schools present to compete included the Mount, Guelph Humber University, Towson University, and University of Maryland. All students have spent the semester preparing for the competition.
“The competition was fierce this year with only two points separating teams, which attests to the professionalism of all the students participating,” Professor Joe Vince said in an email to the Mount community.
Genevieve Jung is a two-time first place winner from Guelph Humber. Jung competed this year with Bianca Caputo and Daniella Raso as the Canadian Snow Inspectors (CSI). She commented on the experience, “What makes this competition incredible is that it allows students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice and physically carry out an investigation. It is extremely rewarding. It’s a huge accomplishment to bring the trophy back to Canada for the second year in a row. It’s all due to the dedication of the members.”
Each team investigated a triple homicide that occurred at a convenience store, set up in various rooms in the Academic Center. Students processed evidence from the scene including handgun cartridges, fingerprints, DNA swabbing, blood stains, footprints, cigarette butts and a cellphone.
“It was an enlightening experience that I would recommend to anyone who wants to further their experience in pursuit of a career in law enforcement,” said Mount sophomore Taylor Remsberg, a second-time competitor.
This year’s case was based on a crime that happened in 1978 in Flint, Michigan. Vince was a field Special Agent at the time, and handled the case himself. Vince gave the lecture following the Challenge, explaining the details of the case: two repeat offenders brutally murdered two store clerks and a 17 year-old high school student. The case was solved within four days.
CJSA Co-Program Managers Tyler Sarnecki and Elizabeth Levi as well as Alexis Sutton, Tori Owens and Kayla Pahl organized and held this event. Also in attendance were law enforcement officers and detectives from the Mid-Atlantic area, many from the Frederick Police Department. Officers helped to judge the event, providing feedback to teams at the end.
Sarnecki commented that, “It is very satisfying to see it be completed, and to know that everyone gets to experience such a unique program.”
Many of the judges commended the teams for their professionalism and impressive problem-solving skills. The Challenge promotes critical thinking and encourages learning to work as a team.
Jung further spoke about the team-building aspect: “I am very proud and honoured to have won first place, and as the lead Investigator I know it would never have happened without the hard work of my interviewer and photographer/sketcher. Teamwork is key in this competition and for our future careers.”
The Challenge also promotes a sense of camaraderie among all who are studying justice. At the end of the day, CJSA members brought students from University of Maryland and Guelph Humber to Ott’s for a student’s night out, while Vince took the professors who accompanied the students out to downtown Frederick.
Photos courtesy of Crystal Castillo.