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From a forensic perspective, the Recycle Bin can be a “gold mine” for gathering probative evidence which can be extremely valuable for investigative purposes. There are many forensic tools available that are designed to recover deleted files from the Recy

Sanitizing Your Recycle Bin

May 21, 2015 10:01 am | Articles | Comments

From a forensic perspective, the Recycle Bin can be a “gold mine” for gathering probative evidence which can be extremely valuable for investigative purposes. There are many forensic tools available that are designed to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

Casting: Beyond the Basics

May 6, 2015 8:32 am | by Dick Warrington | Articles | Comments

Footwear and tire track evidence can be essential to your case, but it’s often overlooked. In...

Crime Scene Investigation 101: Crime Scene Kit Basics

April 29, 2015 2:54 pm | by Dick Warrington | Articles | Comments

Always assume any case you get will go to court. A good crime scene kit will help you be...

Spine Tingling

April 27, 2015 8:38 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Articles | Comments

There are some things that make your spine tingle that are exciting and good for you, but more...

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Digital information is stored on innumerable HDDs, SSDs, DVDs, USB sticks, SD cards, magnetic tapes, and so forth. Although the data is timeless, the storage devices are finite and of limited capacity. As the amount of data continues to grow, so will the

The Future of Data Storage is Upon Us

March 24, 2015 12:51 pm | Articles | Comments

Digital information is stored on innumerable HDDs, SSDs, DVDs, USB sticks, SD cards, magnetic tapes, and so forth. Although the data is timeless, the storage devices are finite and of limited capacity. As the amount of data continues to grow, so will the demand for larger and more efficient data storage devices.

Working in forensic sciences will invariably bring you into potential contact with infectious agents. This is serious business. Performance of some forensic duties might lead to exposure to indigenous or exotic agents with potential for severe or lethal d

Have an Effective Exposure Control Plan

March 20, 2015 1:38 pm | Articles | Comments

Working in forensic sciences will invariably bring you into potential contact with infectious agents. This is serious business. Performance of some forensic duties might lead to exposure to indigenous or exotic agents with potential for severe or lethal disease. The foundation for safe performance of duties and proper containment is an effective exposure control plan. 

With technology constantly evolving, technical skills and know-how will be the most common skills among the working and business public—but the ability to communicate face to face will always be one of the most important aspects of business.

The Importance of Communicating Face to Face

February 10, 2015 8:38 am | by Nathan Jamail | Articles | Comments

With technology constantly evolving, technical skills and know-how will be the most common skills among the working and business public—but the ability to communicate face to face will always be one of the most important aspects of business.   

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Depending upon the nature of investigations, timely forensic examinations normally can expedite the apprehension of suspects. Conversely, delayed results can lead to suspects remaining free for extended periods of time, thereby allowing them to potentiall

Examining and Analyzing Large Crime Scene Data Sets

January 23, 2015 1:07 pm | Articles | Comments

Depending upon the nature of investigations, timely forensic examinations normally can expedite the apprehension of suspects. Conversely, delayed results can lead to suspects remaining free for extended periods of time, thereby allowing them to potentially commit other crimes.

Crime Scene Photography: Equipment

January 22, 2015 7:46 am | by Dick Warrington | Articles | Comments

Before we look at the specifics of crime scene photography, let’s consider the equipment you’ll need. Keep in mind that you don’t need the most sophisticated and most expensive camera on the market. Every department has different equipment these days.

The NFL has 32 teams, not groups. Teams. All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams. Calling a group a team doesn’t make it one. That’s the team myth. Too many business owners and executives think of “team” as a label. It’s not. A “team” is an ach

The Team Myth: 5 Steps to Successful Team Building

January 16, 2015 8:53 am | by Gerry Sandusky | Articles | Comments

The NFL has 32 teams, not groups. Teams. All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams. Calling a group a team doesn’t make it one. That’s the team myth. Too many business owners and executives think of “team” as a label. It’s not. A “team” is an achievement; a dynamic process that includes talent, focus, motivation and sacrifice. It has a personality, preferences and a unique culture.

Since evidence can take over 24 hours to dry, the ability to secure evidence with a lock or tamper-proof tags is critical in maintaining the chain of custody.

Evidence Drying Cabinets Protect Chain of Custody

January 2, 2015 1:41 pm | Articles | Comments

Since evidence can take over 24 hours to dry, the ability to secure evidence with a lock or tamper-proof tags is critical in maintaining the chain of custody.                          

In terms of DNA profiling, by far the most expensive portion of obtaining a profile is the lab costs. Obtaining a better sample on the front end by using a new collection method, a hundred dollars price increase is a relatively insignificant amount.

Better DNA Samples Save Money

December 23, 2014 8:34 am | Articles | Comments

In terms of DNA profiling, by far the most expensive portion of obtaining a profile is the lab costs. Obtaining a better sample on the front end by using a new collection method, a hundred dollars price increase is a relatively insignificant amount.

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10 Inspiring Leadership Quotes to Live By in 2015

December 23, 2014 8:13 am | by Debbie Fletcher | Articles | Comments

Whether you run your own company or manage a team of people it’s important sometimes to stop and take some inspiration from those who have been through it all before and come out top.                   

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 9:06 am | by Detective William Oakley | Articles | 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.             

Safe Storage of Flammable and Combustible Materials

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

As a manager you should help to make sure that you know each employee's career goals. These goals should be things the employee really wants, not just something that sounded good at that moment. You should also help the employee make sure his goals are hi

Four Steps to Establishing Realistic Career Goals

December 16, 2014 2:16 pm | Articles | Comments

As a manager you should help to make sure that you know each employee's career goals. These goals should be things the employee really wants, not just something that sounded good at that moment. You should also help the employee make sure his goals are high enough.

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 | Articles | 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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More Bits about Areal Density

December 12, 2014 11:55 am | Articles | Comments

At first glance, it would seem that the most logical and obvious way to increase storage capacity would be to add more platters to a hard drive. However, this raises a number of inherent problems, such as having to increase the size beyond the current form factors (3.5”, 2.5”, etc.), escalating the cost per hard drive, having to have more read/write heads per hard drive, and so forth.

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 | Articles | 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.

Hard Drives 'Spin' into the Future

December 5, 2014 9:14 am | Articles | Comments

To increase hard drive storage capacity, manufacturers have been able to decrease the size of magnetic grains which comprise data bits. This allows for a greater number of bits of data to be recorded. However, the grains are so small that they can potentially interfere with each other. This diminishes their ability to maintain assigned magnetic orientations and data would become corrupted, leading to an unreliable and unusable hard drive.

Organize Your Crime Scene to Avoid Contamination

December 5, 2014 6:59 am | Articles | 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.   

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 | Articles | 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.

Typically, managers dread having to perform employee assessments and experience high anxiety anticipating them. For the employee, too, who is about to undergo a formal performance assessment, the procedure is a high-anxiety producer. So what typically hap

How to Ace Your Performance Review

December 2, 2014 8:47 am | Articles | Comments

Typically, managers dread having to perform employee assessments and experience high anxiety anticipating them. For the employee, too, who is about to undergo a formal performance assessment, the procedure is a high-anxiety producer. So what typically happens is that two very nervous people get together, try to act calm, and just “get through it.” It doesn’t have to be that way.

Evidence: Know What to Look For

November 26, 2014 4:49 am | by Dick Warrington | Articles | Comments

As I've mentioned before, understanding what is possible—not just by you, but by others—is crucial. Prints are a good example. In the past, we couldn’t lift prints from certain surfaces. Now, experts can lift latents from documents, papers, and adhesive tape.

The Importance of Forensic Analysis Training

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Heather Mahalik | SANS Institute | Articles | Comments

The mobile device industry is evolving very quickly. To stay current on the latest devices and the proper techniques for acquiring and analyzing data, smartphone and mobile device forensic analysis training courses are becoming more and more necessary. 

How Should a Lab Safety Audit be Conducted?

November 25, 2014 5:02 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Articles | Comments

This apparently innocent question may be the one you agonize over the most. Personally, we feel there is no substitute for face to face interviews and a physical walk through of each laboratory. The crucial thing here is that the auditor or surveyor must be trained and knowledgeable about the type of work being performed in the laboratory undergoing the safety audit. 

Contamination of equipment at a crime scene is a serious problem and can occur in many ways. Any time your equipment comes into contact with blood, fluids, or other substances at a scene, you run the risk of contamination.

Avoid Equipment Contamination

November 21, 2014 9:02 am | Articles | Comments

Contamination of equipment at a crime scene is a serious problem and can occur in many ways. Any time your equipment comes into contact with blood, fluids, or other substances at a scene, you run the risk of contamination.       

Why Employees Quit: Frustration about Co-workers

November 20, 2014 4:47 am | by Helen Kelly | Articles | Comments

When someone says I don’t like my job, there’s little hope of retaining that employee, right? Not necessarily, there’s a fair chance that 1) I don’t like my job reflects feelings of discontent rather than a clear picture of dissatisfaction, and 2) a decision to leave would be premature.

A laser device allows you to measure in almost any unit and resolution. The use of this type of device makes taking scene measurements a one-person job.

Measuring Crime Scenes with Laser Devices

November 14, 2014 12:56 pm | Articles | Comments

A laser device allows you to measure in almost any unit and resolution. The use of this type of device makes taking scene measurements a one-person job.                           

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