ICSIA Examiner's Newsletter

ICSIA Examiner January 2014

Daryl W. Clemens, Editor

From the Editor

Welcome to our first edition of 2014. ICSIA has a lot on tap this year, I'll let Hayden tell you all about it in his letter below. We can use your support in a lot of areas, including here. I'm in need of material for the rest of our editions this year, so if you have an article you'd like to share, please pass it along to me. 
Got comments/questions or want to submit an article for The Examiner?  e-mail me: Daryl W. Clemens

President's Message


Happy New Year to all! 2014 promises to be an interesting year for ICSIA. Our main change is in hosting our first CSI Conference.  This is a major undertaking for us and it is progressing well.  I have been told by others, vendors included that this Is not a good year to have a new conference. Spending is down by both the police agencies and by the vendors. We have attempted to beat those odds with the upcoming conference.  The registration fees are low and also include two lunches. We have a progressive tentative agenda that will provide pertinent information and technology to attendees. We are working hard to make this a very successful conference.  In order to be successful we need attendees. We need your support.  If you are not able to attend then at least pass the word to others. If you are able to attend then please get those registration forms to us as we have a limited space for attendees. We started to receive registration for attendees and vendors back in late November. We still have spaces left but I would not wait too long to make that commitment. Conference registration and fees paid may be done online or sent in by mail.
We also have room for additional presenters or workshops. So if you plan on attending and wish to make a presentation or conduct a workshop please let us know soon.
Visit the conference web site to see any updates,http://www.icsia.org/conference
We continue to grow in membership with the last two members coming from the UK and Italy. Welcome to ALL new members! Please encourage others to join as $25 for a 2 year membership in a professional association is a very low price. The web site has the membership applications that can be downloaded or they can be filled out online. Membership fees may also be paid online as well as Renewal fees.
Several people are in the Certification process. Upon successful completion they will become CFCSI, Certified Forensic Crime Scene Investigators with ICSIA.  If you have not looked at that process I invite to see it at http://www.icsia.org/FCSI/Certification/   You will find it challenging but a rewarding process.
Stay safe and looking forward to seeing each of you at the CSI Conference!

Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA)

Doing the Right Thing

by Paul Echols

Examples of poor ethical behavior permeate the news these days.  When the story involves a police officer, crime scene investigator or forensic scientist, it is almost always the leading story.  I spent 28 years in law enforcement with a professional and highly educated police department.  During my career, most officers made correct ethical decisions on a daily basis.  Most of us don’t remember the good things because they are expected and happen frequently.  But for those few who make bad decisions—we almost never forget them!  Your career might survive a few bad decisions, but when they are ethically, morally, and legally wrong, your career is not likely to survive.

When I hear news about someone in the criminal justice system that screwed up, I always think to myself, what could they have been thinking?  So why would they do this?  Is it the feeling of power or attention from making an important case?  I know being in a position of trust can lead to temptations the average person would not find themselves, but in all my years of law enforcement (half of that as a CSI), I cannot remember even thinking about falsifying evidence or perjuring myself in court.  If I wasn’t finding evidence at a crime scene where we had a solid suspect, I just looked harder.  If I still failed, I would be frustrated, but never to the point where I would risk my career to see some idiot go to jail.  I knew there would be another day.


ICSIA is growing and we are in need of volunteers to help in various aspects of ICSIA.  Volunteers are need for the upcoming conference to assist in the menial chores associated with all conferences, helping presenters, greet attendees, run the hospitality room, running errands and registering the attendees.
In addition to the conference volunteers we need members to step forward to help run ICSIA by volunteering to be the Secretary/Treasurer and for the membership committee. If we have a successful conference then we will need help in future conferences.
We are also looking at Accreditation for ICSIA or at least for the Certification process. We will need to a committee of people to explore this option. So as you can see we need your involvement in order to continue to grow.
Please let us know if you want to get involved.

ICSIA’s CSI Conference

Education, Training and Technology, May 13-15, 2014, Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, North Little Rock, Arkansas

More details coming soon- Keep checking ourConference Page for the latest.

On the Web- 

By Daryl Clemens

U.S. Departments of Justice and Commerce Name Experts to First-Ever National Commission on Forensic Science Lots of phD's and attorneys in the mix. Not so many that look like CSIs.

Want your very own drone copter to get some aerial shots of your crime scene? Take a look at This from the New York Times. (I want one!)

Online Training & Job Opening

ICSIA collaborated with the Criminal Justice Institute of the University of Arkansas to produce an online training course: Crime Scene First Responder For The Uniformed Officer

CJI also has an opening for a Crime Scene and Computer Training Administrator details can be found in the .pdf file Here

Product Spotlight- 

Since 1959, Mystaire® has designed, developed and manufactured exposure control equipment for operator safety. The Mystaire® FE-2620 ductless economy chemical workstation provides a high level of operator protection while performing routine laboratory manipulations with liquid chemicals or powders. By incorporating the economy chemical workstation into your laboratory, you eliminate excessive installation costs and allow for maximum flexibility in laboratory design. The ductless economy chemical workstation can easily be positioned over a laboratory sink, or placed directly on a laboratory counter or bench top.

The workstation is designed to establish negative pressure at the opening to allow contaminants to be pulled into the filtration zone. The filtration zone media configuration will depend on the application to be performed within the enclosure. Mystaire® offers a wide variety of activated, chemisorptive and specialty carbon blends as well as HEPA and ULPA filtration to meet your application needs.  Mystaire® qualified technical staff will review the application and recommend the proper media package for your chemistry. Designed to provide 360-degree visibility for the operator and observers, the economy workstation can be used as an instructional tool to provide optimal protection from potentially harmful gas or particulate exposure.  

For more information on the economy workstation and other ductless fume hoods, please contact Mystaire® at +1 919-229-8511 or visitwww.mystaire.com.

Above photo by Ray Forster

Back to Basics

By Dick Warrington
This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine®  August/September 2011, Reprinted with Permission.
Whether you’re just starting as a CSO (Crime Scene Officer) or you’re a seasoned veteran, chances are you’ve found yourself in a classroom, seminar, or workshop dedicated to the ever-changing technology that affects our field. As I’ve mentioned before, being aware of the latest technology and the newest advances can certainly be important to performing your job well. After all, if you don’t know what’s available or even possible, you may get to a crime scene and miss important evidence. On the other hand, you don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t do your job properly unless your department purchases every piece of high-end equipment out there, and unless you become an expert in every specialized technique and procedure. Instead use your knowledge, and the tools you have, to your advantage. And when necessary, call in the experts.

One of the biggest mistakes I see these days is that CSOs get so focused on the latest and greatest technology that they forget about the basics. Don’t make that mistake. No matter what kind of scene you’re called to, your job is to protect, process, and document the scene. In order to perform those tasks properly, you need to make sure you’re prepared before you get the call. That means thinking ahead so that your crime scene vehicle is stocked with the essentials.

ACSR Conference

The Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction will be holding their annual conference February 11-13, 2014 at the La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

For more information visit the conference page Here

Cell Phones

So this month I'm going to ask for your feedback about a couple of things. First, which platform or platforms are you using? I know some of my co-workers have both department issued iPhones, and their own personal Android devices. Haven't seen too many people with a Windows phone, but at least one has told me how much she loves her's. Second, what applications do you find yourself using? I just got a new phone recently, and had to download a compass earlier this week because neither my partner nor I could figure out which way we were facing as we tried to sketch an officer involved shooting scene.

Couple of interesting links from Hayden:

Android vs. iOS vs. Windows Phone: Which is Best for Business? From Business News Daily. Good overview of the competing platforms.

And a gallery of some interesting gadgets if you use you phone as a camera.  From CNET