GU holds student events and activities throughout the year.. some during holidays, with themes and everything. One of these events that had the opportunity to participate in this past year was the Valentine’s Day Mystery event held by the members of the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society (because nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like investigating a crime!).

This took place Thursday, February 9th at the Forensic Investigation Center on campus.  The center was filled with interesting investigative activities such as an escape room, crime scene investigation simulation and a firearms simulator.

These activities gave participants the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of an investigator, solving crimes and using critical thinking skills to solve problems and think in high-stress situations that people in the criminal justice field have to face in their line of work.

Going into the event, I was excited.

I couldn’t wait to be an investigator and try out some of the cool features that the Forensic Investigation Center had to offer.  Once I arrived at the center, I met up with a group of students who were about to go into the escape room, which was the first activity I took part in at the event.

In this escape room you had to work with the people in your group to find the combination to unlock the door.  Through the use of teamwork and help from the many riddles and clues given to you throughout the activity, you had to find a way out of the room in 15 minutes or less.

I was very proud of my group and how well we worked together.  My group made it out of the room in 10 minutes.  We thought our time was the fastest that day, but in reality we were not.  The fastest group to escape the room did it in seven minutes, which is pretty impressive considering how many people are in each group and how communication becomes a little more difficult with the more people you have.

After I completed the escape room, I made my way up to the third floor to the crime scene.  I was very excited for this activity because I got to pretend I was a detective just like the ones on TV.  I quickly got into character and even came up with some corny catch phrases just to sell the character (…my group got annoyed very quickly.)

In this activity, you once again had 15 minutes to solve the mystery of who was responsible for the murder.  Through investigating the environment and analyzing the back story of the incident, you had to put the pieces together and solve the crime.  Once again you had to use teamwork to solve the mystery in a timely manner.

My team did a pretty good job of coming up with possible scenarios that described who was responsible for the crime and why it happened, through my many binged watched seasons of Law and Order, I thought my theories were very spot-on and accurate, but in the end, I was wrong.

It turns out there’s more to investigation than fancy pea coats and cool catch phrases.

There’s a lot of thought that goes into examining the environment and asking the important questions to solve a case.

The final room that I went to was in the basement of the investigation center. Here, they had a firearms simulator.  In this simulation, you were put in different situations where you had to choose whether or not to use lethal force in everyday situations that the people in the criminal justice field have to face every day.  There were many different situations that you could get and each one was different.  While the scenarios were different, the feeling of intensity was the same for each story. Once I got the hang of the simulator, I tried to perfect my 80’s cop movie catch phrase. Unfortunately, my skills in that field were just like my shooting skills in the simulator: awful.

Coming out of the event I was very entertained and informed through the many events offered through the event.  I learned how intense the field of work is and how hard investigation is.  I also learned how the criminal justice field isn’t just what you see on TV; there is more to the occupation than meets the eye.

Interested in criminal justice and criminal investigation? Check out the Forensic Investigation Center and learn more about our programs at GU.