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Forensic Magazine

Continuously Coach to Improve Performance

August 15, 2013 3:49 am | Comments

Encourage employees to try new things and take calculated risks. Many employees do not perform the way they should because they do not know what they are supposed to do, don't know how to do it, don't know why they should do it, or face obstacles beyond their control. 


Fingerprint Brushes Can Contaminate DNA Evidence

August 14, 2013 9:08 pm | Comments

Fingerprint brushes can become easily contaminated. Brushes can retain the DNA picked up. To make sure you don’t transfer DNA from a brush used at one scene to the next, use a new one at each scene. The brush used in a homicide case should become part of the evidence.


Allocate a Portion of the Departmental Budget to Safety

August 12, 2013 7:45 pm | Comments

The establishment of a separate accounting line for safety and health related purchases is essential. This allows you to clearly track monies expended for this purpose. It also reduces the likelihood that budget reductions in other areas will occur. 


Documenting a Vehicle Death Scene

August 8, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

If a body is found in a vehicle, document as much as possible about the location, the vehicle, and its condition. Be specific as to the location of the body. Is it in the front seat, back seat, driver’s side, passenger side, floor, trunk, etc?


Dealing with Employees that Drive You Crazy

August 8, 2013 7:27 am | Comments

As managers and supervisors you sometimes must deal with employees who get under your skin. It seems that regardless of what you do, you end up feeling frustrated and ineffective. It’s a major challenge to continue to feel excited and enthusiastic when facing these employees.


Entomotoxicology: Alternative Matrices for Forensic Toxicology

August 6, 2013 9:26 am | by Lata Gautam, Rahul Pathak, Haruna S Danlami, and Michael D Cole | Comments

Entomotoxicology, a relatively new branch of forensic entomology, deals with the use of insects in detecting drugs and other toxins in decomposing tissues. This also examines the application of analytical techniques to carrion feeding insects in order to identify drugs and toxins present in any intoxicated tissues.


No Single Glove Will Protect against All Harmful Substances

August 5, 2013 8:00 pm | by Vince McLeod | Comments

Given the myriad glove types and materials, it is imperative that both employees and supervisors know which gloves are suitable for the task at hand. No single glove will protect against all harmful substances. Nor will one glove suit all applications. 


5 Step Solution to Correcting Poor Work Habits

August 1, 2013 8:58 am | Comments

In dealing with employee work habits it is especially important to focus on observable behavior. A supervisor’s descriptions of employee behavior should be clear and specific, and quantifiable whenever possible. Here are the five specific steps to follow when attempting to correct poor work habits.


Know When to Call in the Experts

July 31, 2013 8:09 pm | Comments

In order to take advantage of the latest advances in technology and science, a crime scene officer needn't acquire the same level of knowledge as the experts, but must have enough knowledge to recognize what the experts can accomplish with the right evidence.


Regularly Discuss Laboratory Safety and the Results of Inspections

July 29, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Safety meetings are an integral part of a good safety program. You need to have a time when you and your colleagues can get together and focus on safety issues. Meetings that come as a follow-up on a regular safety inspection provide a good basis for discussion of problems and needs.


With Latent Prints, the Age of the Evidence Can Be a Factor

July 25, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

When you’re working with latent prints, the age of the evidence can also be a factor in processing. If you’re not sure of the age of the evidence, you can follow the PINS processing technique, which stands for powder, iodine, ninhydrin, silver nitrate. 


Why You Need to Fix Employees Poor Work Habits

July 24, 2013 5:24 pm | Comments

Employees with poor work habits tend to upset their fellow employees, who become resentful when it appears that one employee is allowed to violate organizational rules. This tends to create conflicts which interfere with effective teamwork. By helping employees correct poor work habits, supervisors help themselves, their employees, and the organization. 


Hazardous Wastes: Identification and Accumulation

July 22, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Proper management of hazardous chemical waste is important for maintaining safety and to avoid potential expensive regulatory fines. If your lab generates a waste stream, you first need to determine whether the waste is hazardous or not. The burden is on you, the generator, to characterize the waste. 


Safe Handling of Cryogenic Liquids

July 5, 2013 9:11 am | Comments

Cryogenic materials of one sort or another are used in most of the forensic labs across the country. On a daily basis, we might receive shipments packed with dry ice, preserve samples with liquid nitrogen, keep our equipment cooled, and in some cases, use techniques that use cryogenic liquids, such as cryogenic grinding of samples. Here are some tips for the safe handling of these chemicals.


Control Contamination

July 5, 2013 9:04 am | Comments

The investigators in charge of a crime scene should create an investigation team and process the scene carefully and methodically to protect the evidence. Follow these steps to control contamination and cross-contamination and to ensure scene safety and evidence integrity.



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