IUPUI class blows up cars to practice crime investigation

IUPUI class blows up cars to practice crime investigation

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Public and Environmental Affairs students at IUPUI got real-world, crime-solving experience Friday. 

Before they got their hands dirty combing through evidence, they got to watch three cars blow up. 

All the students are in the post-blast crime scene class at the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. They were tasked with digging through the blown-up cars to develop reports on the origin and cause of the explosions. 

The cases they worked through were recreations of real cases from police logs. 

Faculty member Stephen Davis said the exercise gives students an opportunity to put classroom lessons to use in the real world.

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“They have an opportunity to kind of see something you don’t see in college a lot. They get to blow things up, have fun and get to get in and dive into it and see if they can figure out what’s going on,” said Davis. 

Christopher Froelich, a student in the course, said it was not his first time dealing with the scenarios the class considers.

“I’m a veteran of Afghanistan. I did two tours over there, so obviously IEDs and vehicle-borne bombs is always a constant threat,” said Froelich.

He said the course is beneficial for people, even if they decide to not go into the field. 

“At minimum, people can at least be more aware of their surroundings,” said Froelich. 

This is the 12th year the O’Neill School has put on the course. Organizers said each year as technology advances, the crimes become a little tougher to solve.