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Gunshot Residue Collection: The Decisions that Make or Break a Case

August 13, 2014 8:20 am | by Julia Patterson | RJ Lee Group, Inc. | Comments

Gunshot residue (GSR) analysis can be a critical piece of evidence in criminal investigations, but over the last several years many government laboratories have discontinued GSR analysis due to a lack of funding or re-prioritization. By understanding the science behind GSR and what can be learned from its analysis, investigators can make informed decisions regarding the collection of gunshot residue evidence.  

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Don't Become Complacent About Safety

August 12, 2014 8:48 am | Comments

It’s human nature to become complacent and relaxed in a familiar and comfortable setting. Take a walk through your lab, looking with unprejudiced honesty at all you see. Reevaluate the safety equipment and procedures in your lab and make sure you are not becoming complacent about safety.

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The Scene Will Dictate What You Need From the Suspect

August 7, 2014 8:00 pm | Comments

Our primary job as crime scene investigators is always the same: to tie a suspect to the scene. The way to accomplish this goal is to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene and the suspect. The key point to keep in mind is that the scene will dictate what you need from the suspect. 

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Confirming Torture: The Use of Imaging in Victims of Falanga

August 6, 2014 9:54 am | by Christine Miller, Jessica Popelka, and Nicole Griffin | Comments

Torture victims experience persistent pain and gait abnormalities. There is still a lack of data regarding the diagnostic value of imaging. For agencies who lend aid to these victims, documentation and proof of torture are pivotal. Especially in cases where victims seek help years after the torture occurred, the imaging modalities of bone scintigraphy, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography can be quite advantageous.

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Infographic: PPE Basics

August 4, 2014 7:29 am | Comments

The Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) created this useful infographic as a reminder of the basics of personal protective equipment (PPE) use to minimize exposure to hazards in the workplace.             

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Collecting Patent Prints

July 31, 2014 3:49 pm | Comments

Patent prints are readily visible because they contain a contaminant like blood or grease. Bloody or greasy prints left on walls or floors should be photographed, processed, and lifted at the scene if possible.           

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Applying AFIS Case by Case

July 30, 2014 8:15 am | by Carey Hall and Teresa Wu | Comments

A typical AFIS deals with pre-defined print card formats and rigid parameters, a new “Case AFIS” approach is flexible in dealing with ad-hoc ink cards, uncontrolled capture areas, poor quality prints, and other obstacles. Using the new application would lead to more identifications and would be more efficient than the manual searching process.

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In providing an effective safety and health program effective human resource management is critical. It includes development of accurate job descriptions to take into consideration job duties (such as respirator use or hearing protection use, manual mater

Workplace Safety: Planning and Staffing

July 29, 2014 2:28 pm | Comments

In providing an effective safety and health program effective human resource management is critical. It includes development of accurate job descriptions to take into consideration job duties (such as respirator use or hearing protection use, manual material handling, exposure to allergens) that may trigger the need for pre-employment evaluations and medical surveillance.

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Controlled substances are chemicals that have a legally recognized potential for abuse. They include “street drugs” such as heroin or ecstasy and prescription drugs such as oxycodone. Detecting and identifying controlled substances is a critical step in l

Trouble with Controled Substances

July 25, 2014 9:06 am | Comments

Controlled substances are chemicals that have a legally recognized potential for abuse. They include “street drugs” such as heroin or ecstasy and prescription drugs such as oxycodone. Detecting and identifying controlled substances is a critical step in law enforcement's fight against drug-related crime and violence.

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To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly

"Rapid" Progess

July 23, 2014 8:33 am | by Chris Asplen | Comments

To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, approval from the FBI to upload reference profiles to the NDIS, the moniker “Rapid” applies more to its rate of implementation than to its DNA analysis time.  

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All leaders are managers but not all managers are leaders. Both managers and true leaders get things done through others, but managers do so by virtue of their specific position within their organizations, while true leaders—regardless of their official r

Are You a Manager or Leader?

July 22, 2014 8:54 am | Comments

All leaders are managers but not all managers are leaders. Both managers and true leaders get things done through others, but managers do so by virtue of their specific position within their organizations, while true leaders — regardless of their official rank — do so by inspiring others.

Glove Protection

July 18, 2014 8:38 am | Comments

Gloves are, of course, important for protecting evidence because they keep you from leaving your own fingerprints behind. They also offer you protection from blood and other substances at the scene.               

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A Resilient Medical Examiner or Crime Lab Facility

July 16, 2014 8:15 am | by Lou Hartman | Crime Lab Design | Comments

Forensic facilities and the operations they house, both Medical Examiners and Crime Laboratories, are important components of a community’s infrastructure. Natural disasters have the potential to cripple or destroy the buildings that support these operations. Making sure that forensic buildings operate through or are quickly available after an event is resiliency.

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Keeping House

July 15, 2014 8:34 am | Comments

Many injuries arise from poor housekeeping. Slips, trips, and falls are all too common yet easily avoided. Begin with organizing the storage areas. First, do not create hazards with your material storage. Stack and interlock boxes, containers, and other items that are stored in tiers.

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Dealing with the Details

July 11, 2014 9:08 am | Comments

Paying attention to details can make all the difference in your case. Be careful to avoid short cuts or inexpensive options that end up costing you.                             

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