Every semester there is a familiar sight of frogmen emerging from the water of the Castleton State College pool. Rich Morin, the diving instructor for scuba diving courses at, is now looking to bring a whole new series of diving courses to the college that would be the first of its kind in the country.
Morin is actively trying to get the criminal justice program to adopt a series of underwater CSI courses, designed to teach students how to handle underwater crime scenes without contaminating the evidence.
There are national and state law procedures on how to conduct a crime scene investigation on land, but there are no laws for underwater investigations. Morin said these courses would train divers to investigate and handle underwater crime scenes.
Morin said he is waiting to hear back from school officials on his plan. He said he’s ready to give his presentation to the college when ever they are ready to see it.
Victoria DeRosia, chair of the criminal justice department, said many steps need to happen before should a program could be offered, but she said she’s open to discussing it. She also said the Morin was asked to provide materials about the proposed course including a syllabus, which he hasn’t done yet.
“We already offer a well established CSI course in our program, but the idea of a similar underwater course is intriguing,” DeRosia said. “Such a course might appeal to a few of our majors who might have a specialized interest and or skills in underwater diving.”
DeRosia said to date the department has yet to be able to get a mutually agreeable time to meet with Morin, in part because the school’s CSI professor is on sabbatical and also because she hasn’t heard from Morin in months despite him saying he’d be in touch “when he got back from Mexico at the end of February.”
“But I suspect that a meeting will happen at some point either this semester or this summer,” she said.
Morin said he hopes that meeting happens soon.
“It would enhance the current criminal justice program tremendously,” Morin said. “It would give the students graduating with criminal justice degrees a much better foothold in the job market.”
Morin said he has more than 27 years experience with 10,000 personal logged dives and 5,800 hours of underwater experience. For more than 22 years his team has been responsible for more than 300 underwater recoveries, he said.
But what do students think about the prospect of underwater CSI adventures? If sophomore Nick Tubolino is an indication, response would be great.
“I would love to see these new underwater CSI Courses,” said the sophomore criminal justice major who is planning to take Morin’s diving course next semester. Tubolino finds the idea appealing, especially if it broadens his opportunity for a successful career in law enforcement.