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Strong Leadership is Necessary for Retaining Qualified Staff

July 5, 2013 8:48 am | Comments

Goodwill and good management techniques are important, but strong leadership is also necessary for retaining qualified staff. In a well run organization leaders at all levels provide vision and help staff feel they are part of something that matters.

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What Makes an Organization Successful?

July 5, 2013 8:39 am | Comments

Managing people with respect, from the time they are being interviewed for possible hire, to the time of their leaving the organization, is the hallmark of modern, successful organizations. Managers should be constantly striving to build good relationships and strong esprit within their organizations.

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Beware of UV Exposure IN the Lab

July 3, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

In addition to sunlight, UV light sources are found in the lab and shop. 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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From Click to Capture: Making the Case for Digital Composite Images

July 3, 2013 10:14 am | by Michael W. Streed | SketchCop Solutions | Comments

Converting from pencils to pixels is easy. With careful planning and commitment, law enforcement agencies can begin realizing cost-saving results using facial composite software programs. With the ability to import images and edit them in a photo/paint program, users can now make refinements that rival the work of traditional police composite artists.

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Drugs from Unusual Matrices: Using Bone Tissue as a Forensic Toxicology Specimen

July 3, 2013 8:03 am | by Lata Gautam, Claire Newland, and Michael D. Cole | Comments

Forensic toxicologists are often called upon to determine whether or not a controlled substance has been ingested by or administered to a victim of accident or crime. The availability of many tissue types is limited in decomposed or skeletonized remains, and therefore bone tissue becomes an important specimen.

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How to Read a Chemical's MSDS

July 1, 2013 8:00 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. The purpose of the MSDS is to inform chemical users of the hazards potentially encountered with their use.

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Communicating: It’s Not Just About Talking

June 26, 2013 7:40 am | Comments

Communicating is as much about effective listening as it is about effective talking. Just as it’s essential that people who work with a manager understand that manager’s messages, it’s also essential for the manager to understand messages from subordinates and superiors. 

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The New CSI Effect: Everyone’s a Forensic Expert

June 20, 2013 10:20 am | by Rebecca Waters | Comments

For years we’ve been talking about the effect that popular TV crime shows has had on juries’ expectations with regard to evidence and forensic analysis techniques. The CSI effect, the popular belief by laypersons that they have some knowledge or expertise in the area of forensics because they have seen it on TV, is expanding.

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The Value of Training for the CSO

June 20, 2013 10:12 am | by Dick Warrington | Lynn Peavey Company | Comments

As a Crime Scene Officer, you have many responsibilities. In order to do your job well, you need to stay current with advances in the field. The best way to accomplish that goal is to invest in your ongoing training. In this issue I’ll take a closer look at why this training is so important, and I’ll also give you some suggestions for finding the right training to fit your needs.

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VPP, OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program: Part 2

June 20, 2013 10:00 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

The previous issue of Forensic Magazine presented the first part of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and discussed the history of OSHA’s safety management emphasis. The birth of OSHA’s voluntary Safety and Health Program and its four major elements were outlined. This issue finishes the series with more detail on the VPP.

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The New Face of Forensic DNA

June 20, 2013 9:51 am | by Ken Mohr | Crime Lab Design | Comments

I spoke with Dr. Kahn, the Forensic Genetics Laboratory Director of the Harris County (Texas) Institute of Forensic Sciences, to ask him about the newly opened Forensic Genetics Laboratory. I spoke with him regarding how the new lab—and its design—is helping the organization meet the increasing demand for DNA analyses.

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Solid State Drives: Part 1

June 20, 2013 9:16 am | by John J. Barbara | Comments

The construction and design of SSDs provide many advantages versus traditional hard drives. There are also a number of disadvantages to SSDs, particularly as they relate to their forensic examination for potential probative evidence. 

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The Witness Interview: How Handwritten Statements Can Help

June 20, 2013 8:57 am | by Sheila Lowe, MS | Comments

If you are not currently requiring your witnesses and suspects to handwrite their statements, you may be missing an opportunity to gather valuable information about your subject. Agencies that recognize that handwriting reveals important data that goes beyond the words written on the page have a useful tool to use in interviews and interrogations.

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The Value of Bloodstain Pattern Recognition at Crime Scenes for Probative Sample Selection for DNA Analysis

June 20, 2013 8:51 am | by Kimberly Rumrill | Comments

Even though it takes years of experience, training, and practice to develop the level of confidence it takes to be able to adequately write a bloodstain pattern analysis report, every crime scene analyst, serologist, and DNA analyst can benefit from a short course in pattern recognition to aid them in their selection of stains from a crime scene or from garments.

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Grass Roots

June 20, 2013 7:56 am | by Douglas Page | Comments

A national marijuana DNA databank has been established by a university researcher that will give law enforcement the ability to track where the drug originated when arrests are made and contraband dope seized.

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