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Take Your Time at the Crime Scene

February 22, 2014 7:00 pm | Comments

Crime scene investigators should resist the urge to rush the process because someone is asking them how long they will be. Crime scene processing requires a methodical approach each and every time and deviating from this can have negative consequences.

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Emergency Plans Should Be Function-Based Not Incident-Based

February 22, 2014 7:00 pm | Comments

Power loss, for example, may be a result of many potential incidents (a windstorm, downed tree, ice storm, or even a car hitting a power pole). Regardless of the cause, there are actions that must take place to ensure the protection of employees and the samples, records, and operations contained within the facility.

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Arriving at the Scene: Initial Response

February 21, 2014 11:27 am | by NIJ | Comments

One of the most important aspects of securing the crime scene is to preserve the scene with minimal contamination and disturbance of physical evidence. The initial response to an incident should be expeditious and methodical.   

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The Need for a Faraday Bag

February 21, 2014 9:44 am | by Eamon P. Doherty | Comments

It is very important that the digital evidence be preserved from the time of seizure until it is presented as evidence in court. If evidence is suspected of being tampered with, it could be ruled as inadmissible in court. Therefore, it is important for CCEs to preserve digital evidence by using a Faraday bag and noting its usage on the chain of evidence form.

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Does Your Staff Respect You ... Or Do They Fear You?

February 20, 2014 10:19 am | by Alesia Latson | Comments

While you might think that having people fear you to some degree is good, fear in a relationship actually has many negative effects. In fact, research shows that when people are operating in fear, it impairs their analytical thinking skills, decreases their creative insight, and reduces their problem solving abilities — the exact things workplaces need to succeed in today’s marketplace. 

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Achieving Advanced Smartphone and Mobile Device Forensics

February 19, 2014 4:44 am | by Heather Mahalik | Comments

Too often smartphone devices are overlooked as investigators focus solely on computer hard drives. As the mobile device market continues to grow and evolve, an investigator’s task of uncovering evidence will be that much harder. Staying current through education and hands-on training courses is cruicial.  

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MSDS Training

February 17, 2014 5:52 pm | Comments

The safe handling of chemicals requires an understanding of their properties, hazards, and measures for handling emergencies involving them. This information can be found on the compound's MSDS. This series of powerpoint presentations provides a variety of training resources to help you understand Material Safety Data Sheets and other Hazard Communications.  

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Incorporate Extrinsic Evidence in Your Investigation

February 11, 2014 4:38 pm | Comments

One of the greatest mistakes that can be made is to look at any digital evidence in isolation without properly considering all of the processes, inputs, and outputs that can impact the interpretation. Accordingly, I believe examiners should insist upon unfettered access not only to the media, but also to the court filings and related discovery.

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Book Excerpt: Expert Bytes: Computer Expertise in Forensic Documents

February 11, 2014 4:30 pm | by Vlad Atanasiu | CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group LLC | Comments

This chapter describes common scenarios in the work of forensic document examiners (FDEs), the objects they examine and the goals of the expertise. To calibrate their intended research projects it is important that computer scientists know and understand what the issues are that FDEs have to solve.

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Packaging Small Items

February 10, 2014 3:42 pm | Comments

Preserving and maintaining evidence collected at a scene is crucial. The key is understanding evidence and understanding the proper way to package it. Package small items carefully or they could be lost.

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Tips for Safe Cutting

February 10, 2014 3:35 pm | Comments

Utility knives are one of the most common tools used in the work place, yet one of the most dangerous, especially in terms of the number and types of injuries produced. We often take these tools for granted and the dangers of inappropriate cutting equipment and procedures are too frequently overlooked.

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Case Study: Denver Crime Laboratory Plans for Future Expansion in New Lab

February 10, 2014 7:38 am | by Suzie Speicher | Comments

In November 2007, Denver, Colorado, voters passed a $38 million bond to fund the redevelopment of the Denver Police Department's Crime Laboratory Bureau. The objective of the new Denver Crime Laboratory was to house all nine units under one roof, including two additional units that were previously at remote locations.

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Forensic Lasers Meet Unique Challenges in Military Applications in Afghanistan and Stateside

February 10, 2014 7:34 am | by Mark Keirstead and Brad Brown | Coherent, Inc., Arrowhead Forensics | Comments

Lasers reliably work 24/7 in dusty, hot conditions and high ambient vibrations, retrieving latent prints and other trace evidence from a massive case load, often with 1000+ objects to be scanned per case.             

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Making the Move from Pencils to Pixels

February 10, 2014 7:25 am | by Michael W. Streed | Comments

Law enforcement’s move from pencils to pixels can be done quite easily. With careful planning and commitment, law enforcement agencies will begin realizing cost-saving results. Continued training and technology investments will encourage increased use of facial composites.

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Arrestee DNA Found Constitutional in Landmark Case

February 10, 2014 7:11 am | by Jonathan S. Franklin and Jayann Sepich | Life Technologies | Comments

As shown by the King case, DNA identification gets results. DNA identification “is an extraordinarily effective tool for law enforcement officials to identify arrestees, solve past crimes, and exonerate innocent suspects.” DNA is the most reliable evidence of identification—“stronger even than fingerprints or photographs.”

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