Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CSI for Scouts

     Monday's troop meeting involved a presentation by a special guest. The Scouts welcomed Deputy Heather Norred of the Lee County Sheriff's Office, who taught Fingerprinting Merit Badge. Deputy Norred started the presentation with a history of how fingerprints were understood to be unique and how they became useful as a method of identification. She demonstrated how fingerprints are cataloged and used to identify fingerprints found at crime scenes. The reality of how crime scenes are processed and fingerprints are used is much different from what is seen on television.

Deputy Norred talked about the history of fingerprinting

     The practical portion of the presentation involved the Scouts using an ink pad and fingerprint cards to take impressions of all ten of their fingers. Next, Deputy Norred showed the Scouts how to lift fingerprints off of objects at a crime scene. Using a brush and graphite powder, she successfully lifted the prints from several scouts including one from a bullet that she allowed Will to handle. 

A bullet is dusted for prints
Will's fingerprint successfully pulled from the bullet
    Deputy Norred also shared stories from her fourteen years in law enforcement and patiently answered questions about subjects such as pepper spray and stun guns. She even allowed the Scouts to handle her baton but resisted calls to demonstrate her Taser on one of them. The boys enjoyed the opportunity to earn a merit badge in such a fun and interesting way. Many thanks to Deputy Norred and Sheriff Jay Jones for giving us this opportunity.    

Michael shows off his skill with a baton
     More photos are available in the online photo gallery.