By Allie Robinson

Two Southwest Virginia law enforcement agencies are now equipped with the latest crime-scene investigation techniques, thanks to detectives who both recently completed training at the Virginia Forensic Science Academy.

Bristol, Va., Sgt. Steven Crawford and Washington County, Va., Sheriff’s Detective Scott Clear each graduated from the 82nd session of the academy earlier this month.

“This part of the state is rural and there are small [law enforcement] departments … they’d like to have more people on the same page,” Crawford said, explaining that the training he and Clear underwent taught them to think systematically.

The 12 officers involved in the training, which is offered twice a year in Richmond, learned to break down a crime scene and not overlook any evidence, Crawford said, adding that he has now seen fingerprints taken from ”just about everything.” He said they learned what the forensics labs in Richmond and Roanoke — where evidence from this part of the state is sent — can do, and how to get the right type of evidence that can be used in an investigation.

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