The doors to the renovated Crime Scene Investigation Lab on the first floor of the Mills Anderson Justice Center are painted with crime scene tape, criss-crossing back and forth.

The entrance is a gateway into a space that has been redesigned to create a more immersive, hands-on learning environment for students learning the practical skills needed to process a crime scene.

The $50,000 project created a new classroom and a second four-room suite that can be staged as a crime scene, allowed for the installation of new cameras for instructors to monitor the process, created storage space and an area for podcasting equipment.

“The cameras mean I can remain in the classroom and observe the students’ work without having to be in there and bothering them while they do it,” said Dr. Tim Wilson, chair of the Criminal Justice Department. “I can watch and then make suggestions about what they could have done better.”

The scenario rooms were completed before the end of the fall semester, and the new classroom was finished in time for the start of Spring 2019.

“The students are pretty excited about it,” said Wilson. “It’s a lot better use of the space.”

And it’s not just Missouri Southern students who will benefit.

“One of the reasons I wanted to do this was because we don’t just use this area for academic purposes,” he said. “Students at the police academy can use it to learn how to clear a building, and we use it for the continuing education program. Current officers can come in and get certified on processing a crime scene.”