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Essential Equipment

September 25, 2014 | Comments

You can make your job more manageable by paying attention to the fundamentals. One of the most important things you can do is determine the equipment that is essential to your job. As you gain experience and expertise, the list of equipment will certainly grow and include more specialized items.

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Hazards of UV do not distinguish between work and home, and in addition to sunlight, UV light sources are found in the workplace including labs, mechanical rooms, and shops. Sources include some biosafety cabinets, certain types of hand-held light sources

Indoor UV Exposure

September 23, 2014 11:54 am | Comments

Hazards of UV do not distinguish between work and home, and in addition to sunlight, UV light sources are found in the workplace including labs, mechanical rooms, and shops. Sources include some biosafety cabinets, certain types of hand-held light sources, transilluminators, crosslinkers, and some laboratory instruments such as spectrophotometers.

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Clearly, finding and collecting as much evidence as possible is key. But in doing so, it’s all too easy to contaminate the results. How can we avoid contamination?

Crime Scene Glove Trick

September 19, 2014 10:19 am | Comments

Clearly, finding and collecting as much evidence as possible is key. But in doing so, it’s all too easy to contaminate the results. How can we avoid contamination?                         

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Typically, managers dread having to perform employee assessments and experience high anxiety anticipating them. For the employee, too, who is about to undergo a formal performance assessment, the procedure is a high-anxiety producer. So what typically hap

Performance Assessment Revisited

September 16, 2014 8:56 am | Comments

Typically, managers dread having to perform employee assessments and experience high anxiety anticipating them. For the employee, too, who is about to undergo a formal performance assessment, the procedure is a high-anxiety producer. So what typically happens is that two very nervous people get together, try to act calm, and just “get through it.”

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The sooner every municipality and jurisdiction takes ownership of its own backlog issue and dedicates the appropriate amount of resources to get kits tested, the sooner they can stop worrying about whether some very smart lawyers are going to find a way h

Don't Let This Be You

September 10, 2014 8:40 am | by Chris Asplen | Comments

The sooner every municipality and jurisdiction takes ownership of its own backlog issue and dedicates the appropriate amount of resources to get kits tested, the sooner they can stop worrying about whether some very smart lawyers are going to find a way hold them responsible. 

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Respirator Rules

September 8, 2014 8:00 pm | by Vince McLeod | Comments

Before ever putting a respirator on, OSHA requires (and it makes good sense) to ensure users are physically capable of wearing a respirator. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 states: “Employees that use any respirators including respirators such as air supplied positive pressure face masks or hoods must have a medical evaluation before use.”

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New Technologies Help Forensic Labs Overcome Today’s Challenges

September 5, 2014 6:27 am | by Rebecca Waters | STARLIMS | Comments

In a question-and-answer session with Robin Gall, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager of STARLIMS Forensics product for Abbott Informatics, find out how the latest forensic technologies are helping forensic laboratories improve productivity, efficiency, and quality.  

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Crime Scene Photography Essentials

September 4, 2014 8:42 am | by Dick Warrington | Lynn Peavey Company | Comments

If you’re an officer in a small department without a crime scene unit, you may be responsible for documenting everything from thefts to homicides. For each scene, you need an accurate record. You don’t need to be an expert to take crime scene photographs or testify in court about these photographs, but you do need to know the proper way to photograph and document a scene.

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Burn Notice

September 4, 2014 7:10 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

Flammable substances are those that can easily catch fire and burn in air. They may be solid, liquid, or gaseous, but this article will focus on liquids because according to Prudent Practices, the most common fire hazard in the typical laboratory is a flammable liquid or the vapor produced by one. And for a majority of laboratories, flammable liquids are the most commonly stored material and make up the largest volume of hazardous material.

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Morgue Design: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

September 4, 2014 7:03 am | by Susan Halla | Crime Lab Design | Comments

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. 

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Streamlining the Digital Forensic Workflow: Part 1

September 4, 2014 6:53 am | by John J. Barbara | Comments

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.

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Effective Communication: The Manager’s Must

September 3, 2014 7:42 pm | Comments

Your effectiveness as a manager stands or falls on your ability to communicate. That’s true no matter what kind of organization you’re in, no matter what kind of department you run, no matter what kind of employees you have, no matter what kind of boss you have, no matter what kind of person you are. To manage is to communicate.

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Kern County Resolves the DNA Mixture Crisis

September 3, 2014 5:37 pm | by Mark W. Perlin and Kevin W.P. Miller | Cybergenetics | Comments

The forensic community is discussing genotype probability modeling as a way to interpret DNA mixtures. The Kern Regional Crime Laboratory (KRCL) was an early adopter of probabilistic genotyping for mixture interpretation. KRCL's adoption of these computer methods enables Kern County to use complex mixture evidence in routine casework, and easily report their match results.

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Biocontainment Is a Bigger Challenge in Medical Examiner Facilities

September 1, 2014 7:06 pm | Crime Lab Design | Comments

How well do biocontainment and biosafety guidelines written for research facilities apply to medical examiners? The mission of medical examiners and the procedures they use present significantly different challenges. There are major differences between medical examiner and research operations with respect to biocontainment and biosafety.

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Processing a Fire or Arson Scene

August 27, 2014 11:55 pm | Comments

The investigator should control access to a fire scene after fire suppression and see that evidence is collected, stored, and transported so that it will not be contaminated. Follow this walkthrough to properly process the scene and take precautions to prevent contamination.

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Actively Listen to Subordinates

August 27, 2014 7:55 pm | Comments

Draw out the thoughts and ideas of subordinates, as well as their feelings. Ask questions and rephrase key points that are made (e.g., "Do you mean that ... "). Don't respond until you clearly understand what's being said. Even if you disagree, allow the person to complete what he/she wants to say.

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