• Hobart students solving ‘crime’ with CSI work
    Hobart Police Lt. Jack Grennes (right) talks with junior Ryan Cooper (center) senior Wesley Addis(left) about homicide scene investigatiduring law

    Hobart Police Lt. Jack Grennes (right) talks with junior Ryan Cooper (center) and senior Wesley Addison (left) about a homicide scene investigation during a law enforcement class at Hobart High School in Hobart, Ind. Tuesday March 12, 2013. The class, led by Grennes, teaches students about homeland security, crime scene investigative procedures and other areas of law enforcemet. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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    Updated: April 17, 2013 6:01AM

    HOBART — The furnace room at Hobart High School was a hive of activity Tuesday morning as detectives combed three crime scenes for gun casings.

    Three people were lying dead on the floor, surrounded by items — cell phones, glasses, and beer cans — that may help show who killed them. Detectives measured the distances between the victims and where the casings were found, but they did not disturb the bodies or the evidence.

    But the scenes were just for show. It was all staged as part of a project in the school’s law enforcement-homeland security class.

    Hobart Police Lt. Jack Grennes said he started the crime scene investigation project when he started teaching the class seven years ago.

    Senior Kaitlin Radats peered closely at a hole in the yellow insulation on the walls of the furnace room and found a casing inside.

    Grennes was impressed by Radats’ “good find” and asked her how she knew to look behind a pipe.

    “During my National Guard training, we shoot during training and we have to pick up the shells afterward,” Radats said. “You have to look in the most random places. You have to know what you’re looking for.”

    The class was to lift fingerprints and log evidence on Thursday. A list of suspects would be established — with five members of the Hobart High School staff playing the roles — and the fingerprints would help find the killer.

    “You can mess up the process by using too much powder or not pushing down hard enough to lift the print,” Grennes said. “But usually at least two (of the three) teams find out who did it.”

    Senior Mathew Viator said the class received some training on how to collect fingerprints from Hobart Police Detective Corey Harahan in January.

    “When you start doing fingerprints, you get concerned that you’ll get enough of a print,” Viator said.

    The class of 29 students studies all aspects of law enforcement. This spring, they’ll get the chance to conduct mock traffic stops, run radio traffic, and learn self-defense tactics. Prior to the CSI project, Grennes said the class learned how to conduct searches of buildings.