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Junior CSI Academy emphasizes life choices
CSI and chief with 10 cadets IMG_6532[18972].jpg
Junior CSI students pose for a photo with Manteca Police Chief Jodie Estarziau. - photo by Photo Contributed

 There’s more to the Manteca Police Department’s Junior Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Academy than learning about law enforcement procedures.

On Wednesday two police chaplains from the New Hope Church, Tim Kemptner and Braxon Jens, worked with the 25 sixth graders in a classroom setting at the B-tech Academy at the Manteca Unified School District complex to teach them about “life choices”.

They urged the importance of respecting others and respecting one’s self as well. Kemptner stunned the students as he was talking about a person’s environment by reaching into a fish bowl and picking up a gold fish and tossing it up into the air. He pointed out that the fish had no way to return to the safety of that bowl – life can be like that he noted.

He caught the fish and placed it back into the bowl, urging the CSI class to see the need of maintaining their environment and its importance in their lives. 

The students were given a 30-minute break to go outside and play a couple games before coming back into the classroom for a lesson on finger printing and analysis.  At 1 p.m. after their lunch break they were taken in a van to the police department where they toured the facility and met with Chief Jodie Estarziau in her office. 

Estarziau’s niece Stephanie Thomason was in the class.  When asked if she thought she would ever be a police chief like her aunt, she replied, “I could never replace her.”  

Thomason has been attending the summer student programs for three year.  She doesn’t plan to follow her aunt’s Criminal Justice vocation in college. Instead she is leaning toward art and singing.

The CSI students will face a detailed crime scene on Friday with the task of solving the case.  They will be graduating later that afternoon.  

During the week several topics are taught and there are a variety of practical exercises for students. Some of the topics covered include K9, gangs, narcotics, and traffic.

In charge of the class were officers Jason Downs and Shawn Cavin and community service officer Barbie Morgan.

The Junior CSI program is supported by the Manteca Police Chief’s Funation.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email