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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Value of Bloodstain Pattern Recognition at Crime Scenes for Probative Sample Selection for DNA AnalysisJune 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.
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.
The Al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in Yemen created new protocols for collecting forensic evidence at sea. As a result of the onboard and onshore forensic investigations, the FBI determined that the hull of the disguised garbage barge was interleaved with blocks of C-4, Semtex, and TNT.
The presence of a drug in a drink raises suspicion about the nature of the case that needs forensic investigation. There can be different motives behind spiking beverages, which can range from miscarriage, abortion, and attempted murder through to sexual assault.
Your effectiveness as a manager stands or falls on your ability to communicate. That’s true no matter what kind of organization you’re in, no matter what kind of department you run, no matter what kind of employees you have, no matter what kind of boss you have, no matter what kind of person you are. To manage is to communicate.
Whether building a new lab or renovating the old one, don't forget about the safety of the bystanders. Develop a Public Hazard Control Plan. The purpose of the Public Hazard Control Plan is to evaluate and reduce to a minimum the hazards to the public identified through analysis of the project prior to the commencement of work and throughout the process
Draw out the thoughts and ideas of subordinates, as well as their feelings. Ask questions and rephrase key points that are made (e.g., "Do you mean that ... "). Don't respond until you clearly understand what's being said. Even if you disagree, allow the person to complete what he/she wants to say.
How well do biocontainment and biosafety guidelines written for research facilities apply to medical examiners? The mission of medical examiners and the procedures they use present significantly different challenges. There are major differences between medical examiner and research operations with respect to biocontainment and biosafety.