Effective recruiting tool for Connecticut State Police

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MERIDEN --  It's a sleepover camp for kids who would like to become future cops.

It's called Connecticut State Police Youth Week, designed to give some 25 teens a taste of what actual state trooper recruits encounter. 16 and 17-year-olds are spending the entire week at the Connecticut police academy in Meriden.

Investigating a simulated crime scene is one of their workshops.

"I feel like if you have the right evidence, you will be able to find out the right answers to the questions that you need to to find," said Carolyn Osvald, a soon to be senior at Wolcott High School.

With a bloody mannequin's body on the floor in a second floor classroom, the students tried to find suspect candidates.

"In the trash can there are papers, divorce papers, so that leads us to believe that a spouse, current or divorced or in the process might have done this," said Matthew O'Neil, who will be a senior at the Gunnery School.

One of the exercises students are going through is a simulation of how an extremely impaired driver or walker sees with the assistance of specialty goggles.

"You can kill somebody by just not stopping at a stop sign," said one student, after removing her goggles

The also have an opportunity to test their driving skills, by attempting not to hit cones at 10 miles per hour on an obstacle course. The State Police Major Crimes mobile unit also engaged student.

"Criminals can sometimes try to clean the scene,"Detective Pete Farr told the students. "But, sometimes, there's still evidence that's there."

The simple goal this week is to let the kids know what it's like to be a state trooper.

"They see it on TV and think it's one way and it's really something totally different," Farr said.

The week long camp ends Saturday with graduation, during which time several scholarships will be awarded, including one worth up to $20,000 to Goodwin College.