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Mock trial to prepare for actual scenarios

Monday morning law enforcement officers took to the stand for a mock trial at the St. Joseph County Courthouse.

A Crime Scene Technician Courtroom Testimony Training Course was hosted by the South Bend Police Department and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office to prepare crime scene investigators for testifying in trials.

Patrolman Paul Daley with the South Bend Police Department said the forensics aspect of cases are huge when it comes to trials.

“DNA, fingerprints, forensic evidence these days are huge in criminal court cases so we have to make sure these guys not only collect the stuff but they can present it in court,” said Daley.

It was an opportunity for CSI's to get practice in a mock scenario while also gaining valuable feedback. Officers were questioned in front of a judge, jury, defense attorney, and prosecutor.

“We can get them up there and see exactly where their faults are. We stress them up a little bit with some of the questions. We don’t make it easy but it’s all in learning how you respond to stress and knowing your skills,” Daley added.

Crime scene investigators are specifically trained in photography, bloodstain interpretation, ballistics, and crime scene management. However, evidence is not as useful if they are unable to present it accurately in court.

“Police officers testify in court quite a bit but Crime Scene Technicians not so much but that’s why we’re here because when a Crime Scene Technician does get on the stand, we want to make sure that they can do what they promised to do,” Daley said.

Daley said this is the only class in the area of the kind. Multiple agencies were involved in the training including: South Bend, Mishawaka, and Goshen Police Departments. He added that he wants officers to get training so they can better serve the community.

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