Over the years we have been invited in to see many morgues of various ages, designs, and with varying wear and tear. We have designed and observed the construction of several facilities and have been invited to tour other new facilities. There are many lessons to be learned in each of these facilities. Some of these are lessons on what to implement in your own facility, while many of these are examples of what not to emulate.
The era of “Big Data” is already upon us and the...
Just consider autoclaves as large specialized...
To position a camera for impression evidence photography, place it on a tripod, position the focal plane parallel to the impression, and ensure the camera is at a sufficient distance from the impression to avoid using a wide angle. Wide angle views can create distortion around the edges of the photograph.
The ways in which we handle our goof-ups, guffaws, screw-ups, bad decisions, miscalculations, and blunders are critical—our reputations are at stake. And as managers, we should role model the behaviors we seek in others. Here are 10 ideas on how to react to and recover from mistakes.
In recent years we have seen the drug market flooded with new psychoactive substances, often misleadingly termed “legal highs.” The emergence of new compounds is growing year on year, leaving many working in this area floundering under the ingenuity of the market, and the speed at which it reacts.
Develop a program for dating stored chemicals and for recertifying or discarding them after predetermined maximum periods of storage.
It has now reached the point that it is no longer practical for an examiner to forensically analyze each and every piece of evidence. Depending upon the alleged crime, often the incriminating evidence can be found in an e-mail, a document, the browser history, an SMS, or some other source. This leads to the obvious conclusion that examiners are going to need a new approach to streamline their workflow.
When patrol officers and/or first responders arrive at the scene, they should look for dust footprints by taking a flashlight and rolling it along the floor. If they simply shine it into the room from a standing position, they’re likely to miss the prints. When they find prints, they should mark them with plastic or disposable tent markers.
A manager’s procrastination tendency raises its ugly head, commonly, when planning for a new project. “Paralysis by analysis” becomes the mode of operation—or non operation. As a manager, your job is to get things done. Don't let procrastination keep you from getting there. If you think that procrastination is a problem for you, you have to deal with it.
Before you step under the tape, stop and study the tracks going into and out of the crime scene. Compare tracks to the tread pattern of those at the scene, and take care not to damage any tracks on your way in.
If you’re lucky, you may arrive at a crime scene and find an ideal situation for processing. Usually, though, scenes are not pristine. You may have anything from an unsecured shed to open fields to swamps and ponds. Weather is often a problem. In this issue, I’ll look at fingerprinting essentials in extreme conditions.
Working in forensic sciences will invariably bring you into potential contact with infectious agents. The foundation for safe performance of duties and proper containment is an effective exposure control plan. This article discusses the basic elements of a comprehensive exposure control plan, what each element should contain, and tips on successful implementation.
Laboratory equipment is one of the drivers of the design of a forensic facility. In this article I will review a few pieces of equipment which have changed over time and how lab design has been adapted to meet those changes. I will review a change in the equipment used to compare and analyze firearms evidence, genetic analyzers used in DNA analysis, and a piece of equipment which tests toxicology samples.
Often an examiner will analyze all the digital media only to determine that the probative data was limited to a browser’s history file, an e-mail, a document, the mobile devices’ logs, or an inappropriate graphic video or picture. Finding the critical probative data faster in a cost effective manner while reducing or eliminating case backlogs is going to require a more efficient methodology.
Recently I was training a group of investigators at a large law enforcement agency on wet-vacuum forensic DNA collection. Over the course of our conversation, I learned there were a couple of people who were not overly enthusiastic about introducing a new collection method to the cases. This hesitancy from some didn’t surprise me, but it did get me thinking about how to address it.
Dirt is full of life, microbial life. Although dirt seems to be an inert, lifeless material, one gram of soil may contain up to eight billion living bacterial cells. Grave soil found next to dead and decomposing human bodies is teeming with many microbial secrets that have yet to be uncovered.
With bath salts being a new product with no exact chemical composition, toxicology companies have struggled to produce a detection technique. As many bath salts are made up of a large drug concoction, with current tests only detecting an individual drug and not a variety of drugs, this also decreases the possibility of detection.