Forensic program for students coming up

A 14-week session aimed at introducing high school students to the world of forensic sciences will again take place at the Buckhannon American Legion.

The second Forensic Mondays program is scheduled to start up at 6 p.m. April 8 with “Criminal Investigation 101.” There is no cost to attend the sessions, which run from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 8 and 22, May 6 and 20, June 10, July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 9 and 21, Oct. 7 and 21, Nov. 4 and 18 and Dec. 9. Those interested do not have to attend every session.

“We are not aware of any other program of this nature anywhere in this country,” said David Taylor, one of the event’s organizers.

Topics for the individual sessions range from dealing with a crime scene, to interrogations, to prosecuting the crimes. In between, participants will learn how to process evidence involving crimes of property and crimes of violence.

“This year is more legalistic,” Taylor said. “There is still a lot of forensic science, and we’ve opened up the speaker’s platform. That was based on the feedback from last year.”

Taylor said the goal of Forensic Mondays is to show young people the true nature of law enforcement, forensic science and the legal system. Throughout the series, the participants will be exposed to various injury, death and homicide investigations, along with other material of a sensitive nature, shown through photos, slides and videotapes from actual closed cases.

“We will be showcasing the talent that this state has to offer,” Taylor said, noting law enforcement officers, federal prosecutors and even a U.S. district judge have agreed to be part of the series.

Taylor said other scenarios to be covered include cyber-crimes and bullying.

The program also is open to anyone serving as a public safety professional or working in the social services field. CEU credits through West Virginia Wesleyan College are available for a fee.

An application and the full schedule are available at

Taylor praised the Frank B. Bartlett American Legion Post 7 officials for helping to sponsor this series for the second straight year.

The costs of the program have been covered by various vendors and civic organizations.