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Most of us know you should attempt to develop latent prints as soon as possible. When latent prints are deposited on a surface, nearly 99% of the print is composed of water. The water begins to evaporate and the print dries out. For this reason, it is ess

Put Your Patrol Force to Work

December 19, 2014 | by Detective William Oakley | Comments

I understand that most departments don’t have I.D. Units who come out and process scenes for latent prints, however, there is a solution. The backbone of every police department is its patrol division.             

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Safe Storage of Flammable and Combustible Materials

December 18, 2014 9:39 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

  Safely storing flammable and combustible liquids in laboratories or stockrooms is risky business. However, by paying attention to the hazard class of the material, the largest container size and the total quantities we can minimize that risk. In addition, here are some general guidelines for safe flammable and combustible storage.

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With bath salts being a new product with no exact chemical composition, toxicology companies have struggled to produce a detection technique. As many bath salts are made up of a large drug concoction, with current tests only detecting an individual drug a

What are the difficulties in detecting bath salts, their effects and how do we test for them?

December 17, 2014 8:52 am | by Dr. Joanne Darragh | Randox Toxicology | Comments

With bath salts being a new product with no exact chemical composition, toxicology companies have struggled to produce a detection technique. As many bath salts are made up of a large drug concoction, with current tests only detecting an individual drug and not a variety of drugs, this also decreases the possibility of detection.

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Forensic Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the Best Forensic Products of the Year celebrate excellence in product design and performance for tools, equipment, and materials used in all areas of forensic investigation and analysis. A panel of Forensic

Best Forensic Products of 2014

December 15, 2014 8:44 am | by Rebecca Waters | Comments

Forensic Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the Best Forensic Products of the Year celebrate excellence in product design and performance for tools, equipment, and materials used in all areas of forensic investigation and analysis. A panel of Forensic subscribers selected the products that they found to be most effective and trusted in their work. Congratulations to our winners!

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Casting: Essentials

December 15, 2014 5:51 am | by Dick Warrington | Lynn Peavey Company | Comments

Footwear and tire track evidence can be essential to your case, but it’s often overlooked. In some cases, CSIs identify the evidence but assume they can’t do anything with it. Weather extremes and difficult surfaces can make casting very challenging, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

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Who Is All Wet Now?

December 15, 2014 5:45 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

Maybe a refresher is due for all forensic laboratory personnel and CSI on the use of safety showers and eye wash stations. The ANSI Z358.1 standard is very detailed in terms of defining what is appropriate for safety showers and eye wash stations. In fact, OSHA uses this reference as a guide when inspecting facilities. So let’s review what is “recommended” for acceptable safety equipment.

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EBOLA Outbreak

December 15, 2014 5:39 am | by Jinhee Lee and Matt Willmus | Crime Lab Design | Comments

This article will specifically review the design strategy for a single table high containment autopsy suite, based partly on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) standards. Our best practices are in an effort to create a facility that is prepared for the worst case scenario, which could result from any highly contagious disease outbreak.   

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Every CSI needs a good crime scene kit. Take the time to build your own kit. Yes, it will involve more effort on your part, but you’ll save a lot of money and end up with only the things you really need.

Backlogs, Budgets, and Bureaucracy

December 15, 2014 5:32 am | by Rebecca Waters | Comments

Another year has passed and yet the financial and political climate has not changed much when it comes to dealing with the tremendous shortfall of resources our readers consistently report.  We can hope for greater support for our organizations in the future, but in the meantime, let’s work together to make the most of what we have in the year to come. 

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It Is That Absurd

December 15, 2014 5:28 am | by Chris Asplen | Comments

The DNA database was legislated in every state and nationally for the singular purpose of solving crime. To suggest that investigative leads as important and reliable as a familial relationship cannot be used is absurd. DNA is significantly more reliable than any other kind of evidence available to law enforcement. And consider this fact: a familial match is also, by its very nature an exoneration.

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Streamlining the Digital Forensic Workflow: Part 3

December 15, 2014 5:14 am | by John J. Barbara | Digital Forensics Consulting, LLC | Comments

Depending upon the nature of investigations, timely forensic examinations normally can expedite the apprehension of suspects. The use of a triage tool can identify the most likely evidentiary data sources. Ideally, the relevant evidence should then be seamlessly exported and analyzed in-depth by another comprehensive forensic tool which can provide indexing and detailed analysis. 

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Mobile Device Search and Seizure in a Post-Riley World

December 15, 2014 4:48 am | by Christa Miller | Cellebrite | Comments

The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Riley v. US may not have been much of a surprise to American law enforcement. Many agencies were already requiring officers to obtain search warrants before searching mobile devices. Ultimately, rather than limiting law enforcement, the Riley decision frees agencies to deploy mobile data extraction capabilities across a much wider field of officers.

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Cold Hit

December 15, 2014 3:29 am | by Detective Lindsey Wade | Comments

Using DNA collected from convicted sex offenders has been instrumental in solving long-dormant sexual assault and homicide cases. Despite nearly universal laws requiring convicted sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, the rules for how and when those samples are collected could be a significant roadblock for cold case detectives around the country.

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Despite some laboratories moving away from GSR testing and others imposing limits, law enforcement personnel should collect GSR samples when probative.

Good Idea to Collect GSR

December 12, 2014 3:26 pm | Comments

Despite some laboratories moving away from GSR testing and others imposing limits, law enforcement personnel should collect GSR samples when probative.                            

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The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Code for Flammable and Combustible Liquids, NFPA 30, is an excellent resource and introduction to the hazards of these materials. Without getting too bogged down in technical details, there are a few conce

Physical Concepts of Flammable, Combustible Substances

December 9, 2014 9:22 am | Comments

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Code for Flammable and Combustible Liquids, NFPA 30, is an excellent resource and introduction to the hazards of these materials. Without getting too bogged down in technical details, there are a few concepts that need mentioning and understanding at the outset.

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Organize Your Crime Scene to Avoid Contamination

December 5, 2014 6:59 am | Comments

When you arrive at the scene, establish secure, central areas for clean equipment, items to be disposed of, and items to be decontaminated. For the first area, I used to take a clean biohazard bag, open it up, and spread it on the ground.   

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Autoclaves are such a common and familiar piece of lab equipment that it is easy to overlook the associated hazards. If we do not think about what might go wrong, sooner or later we will get burned. By following our simple three step program of training;

Document Your Autoclave Safety Program

December 2, 2014 10:32 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

A good autoclave safety program must include documentation. Principal investigators and supervisors are responsible for ensuring proper records are kept up to date. Autoclave users should be responsible for recording autoclave run information.

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