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Expert Report Writing: Know Your Audience

December 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

In writing your report you need to keep in mind the likely reader or readers. If technical explanations are required, you need to provide interpretations of the technical matters in lay terms that all of the people reading your report can understand. Define technical terms in the body of the report or with footnotes. 

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GPS Evidence

December 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

Trackpoints are the Holy Grail in GPS forensics. They are the electronic breadcrumb trail that tells an investigator exactly where and when the device was in a specific location. With trackpoints, criminal acts can be pinpointed down to almost the exact second a crime was committed.

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The Dirty Dozen - 12 Tips on How to Fail as a Manager

December 18, 2013 4:20 pm | Comments

You can learn from the best but there’s a lot to be learned from the worst as well. Here are a few suggestions from "Management Techniques of the Bottom 95% of U.S. Corporations" to make sure your company will never succeed. Take heed and don't let it happen to you! 

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10 Ways to Handle Complaints

December 18, 2013 4:00 pm | Comments

Do you struggle to respond to complaints? Complaints are not all treated equally. Most managers welcome and can deal with a complaint that is valid and objectively expressed. Complaints that seem trite, invalid, or resemble whining are more difficult to handle.

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Chain of Custody of a Body Begins with the Death Scene Documentation

December 18, 2013 2:19 pm | Comments

When working on a death scene, keep track of how and when the coroner was notified of the death. When the body is ready to be moved, continue to jot in your checklist, everything that happens. These notes begin the documentation of the chain of custody of the body.

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Mobile Evidence Collection Device Helps De-Mystify Police Department Evidence Room

December 18, 2013 6:43 am | by Detective Kerry Daniels | Primary Marking Systems, Inc. | Comments

The Maplewood Police Department is a law enforcement agency with 31 officers and about 9,000 pieces of evidence. In early 2009, the chief challenged the department to bring order to the evidence room by implementing procedures for the orderly tracking, storage, and retrieval of evidence in the hope of attaining the department’s ultimate goal: accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.  

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Quality Assurance Practices for Computer Forensics: Part 3

December 17, 2013 7:10 pm | by John J. Barbara | Comments

Previous columns discussed implementing an overall Quality Assurance Program (QAP) for a Computer Forensics Section. It is an easy task to list appropriate policy statements to include in a QAM. The difficult part is detailing their contents. For consistency purposes, they need to be organized and written in the same manner using one standardized style.

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Crime Scene Clean Up

December 17, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

Understanding what happens after CSOs leave the scene can help you do your job better and also help those who need it most: the victims and the people left behind. 80% of victims or their families clean up after a homicide, suicide, trauma, or situations involving decomposing bodies and other biological hazards because they don’t know that professional services are available.

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Have a Fire Prevention and Protection Plan

December 16, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

Every forensic facility should have a comprehensive fire prevention and protection plan. This plan is designed to protect the building occupants, preserve equipment and property, and assist emergency response teams. Each section in your forensic unit presents its own fire risks.

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Get the Most from Your Crime Scene

December 12, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

These days, crime scene officers are capable of doing more forensic work right at the scene. The more you can do in the field, the more the scientists in the lab can do to verify your work. As technology advances, crime scene officers must advance their knowledge and training. Some key areas to focus on include bullet trajectory, blood spatter, and the proper way to collect sensitive evidence such as computers and drugs.

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Collecting Evidence from the Cloud

December 12, 2013 6:17 pm | Comments

The lack of control on the examiner's part makes collection the generally accepted problem with cloud-based evidence. Because the examiner has neither access to the physical hard drive nor control over the network, s/he will at most have access to the data through the end user's Web browser, or through a computer connected to the same network's access.

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The Importance of Being an Approachable Manager

December 11, 2013 6:01 pm | Comments

As a manager, much of your success rests on the shoulders of those working for you. Therefore it is very important to maintain a positive, productive relationship with your employees, and one of the most important things to strive for as a manager is to remain open and approachable.

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Quality Assurance Practices for Computer Forensics: Part 2

December 10, 2013 7:10 pm | by John J. Barbara | Comments

Quality Assurance Practices are essential to ensure the overall quality of services that a Computer Forensics unit provides. Two of the fundamentals of quality assurance are a documented Quality Assurance Manual and an individual designated as the Quality Manager who, irrespective of other responsibilities, has the authority and obligation to ensure that the requirements of the quality system are implemented and maintained. 

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Handling Exposure to Blood or OPIM

December 8, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

Your employer must provide you with protective equipment, as well as medical care in the case of an incident, at no cost. Follow these steps after exposure to blood or OPIM by eye, mouth, mucous membrane, or non-intact skin and following any piercing, cut, or abrasion of these routes.

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Respond with Caution

December 5, 2013 5:00 am | Comments

Officers who arrive at a crime scene must be cautious and methodical. They should strive to preserve the scene with minimal contamination and should not disturb physical evidence. The following guidelines should be observed by all responding officers.

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