ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- It was crime scene at Pond Road Middle School Sunday, but students and parents had no need to worry. Instead of it being an emergency the scene was an effort by the Robbinsville Police Department's Detective Bureau to help some local girls scouts earn special badges. .
About 45 Junior and 25 Cadettes, who are part of The Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey troops in the Robbinsville and Allentown area, attended the badge workshop to earn the coveted Special Agent badge and Junior Detective badge.
Robbinsville Girl Scout Troop 72042 leader Lisa Werdel said that the girls chose the badges but needed the help of the police department to achieve it. Werdel and her daughter, who is a Troop member, reached out to Robbinsville Lieutenant Mike Polaski who she said was "on board immediately and enthusiastic about helping."
"At first, we thought it might be hard to ask the Detectives to work on a Sunday afternoon, but then five took part," said Werdel. The complete Robbinsville Detective Bureau -- Sergeant Adrian Markowski, Lieutenant William Swanhart, Detective Wayne Haugh, Detective Shawn Bruton and Detective Robert Quinn -- all participated in the afternoon training.
"The officers did a spectacular job setting up a crime scene. It was fascinating for the girls," said Werdel.
The training included five stations including an example of a crime scene that showed the girls how to use real police equipment including dusting for fingerprints, and photographing and tagging evidence.
In another classroom, officers demonstrated an interrogation scene where Detective Haugh was the last person to see Lieutenant Polaski who went missing. The detectives also taught them how to read body language and read a suspect their Miranda Rights.
"The girls made a positive connection with the police officers," Werdel said. She noted that one of the Girl Scouts was excited to see one of the detectives at school the next day and "high-fived him in the hallway saying 'hi buddy;."
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