ICSIA Examiner's Newsletter

ICSIA Examiner May 2012

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Daryl W. Clemens, Editor

Training from NIJ

"In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts that defendants have a right to cross-examine forensic laboratory analysts in criminal cases.[1] Before Melendez-Diaz, it was common for analysts to submit reports of forensic findings without appearing in court. The Melendez-Diaz decision, however, determined that a laboratory report could not be admitted into evidence in place of live testimony. The Court ruled that under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, forensic scientists who perform laboratory testing and analysis for the prosecution and submit a report must be made available for testimony in court.[2] "

NIJ has put quite a bit of training online, some of which is relevant to CSIs.  The above is from a course called "In Brief: Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert" it includes:  1. Sources of Scientific Evidence 2. Report Writing and Supporting Documentation 3. Importance of Case Preparation 4. Subpoenas vs. Promises to Appear 5. Affidavits 6. Being a Court-appointed Expert 7. Discovery 8. General Testifying Tips 9. Depositions 10. Pretrial 11. Trial 12. Post-trial, Presentencing 13. Ethics for Experts.

All in all it looks like it should be pretty good, although I haven't had a chance to take it yet myself.  You can find it here: http://www.nij.gov/nij/journals/269/inbrief.htm 

Got comments/questions or want to submit an article for The Examiner?  e-mail me: Daryl W. Clemens


President's Message

Message from Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
Our international membership is picking up as we now have members in Jamaica, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Columbia, Brazil, Philippines, The Netherlands, and UEA.  Several of the international members are interested in the Certification Program we offer. If you are not familiar with it please revisit the web site.
We would like for you to spread the word about ICSIA. It is always best to gain more members by learning of the organization through others. So please pass the word! The larger we grow the more we are able to do for the members.
Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA)

Practical Police Digital Imaging

By Bob McMicken

In this article Bob talks about the use of Photoshop and other software, as well as common issues with digital file handling.  In .pdf format.

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Crime Scene Investigation In a Correctional Facility

By Billy LeBlanc CFCSI

Eighteen months ago I was a CSI supervisor commanding the crime scene division and evidence/property section. I was reassigned to our correctional facility to organize and run the Transitional Work Program. Coming from an investigative background I quickly observed that a great many of the same crimes that occur in the free world are in fact committed in a correctional facility. The only difference is that inside the victim and perpetrator live in very close proximity. Most of our investigative tools can be utilized to assist in determining who perpetrated it. For some reason, I think merely lack of knowledge I found no crime scene investigation being performed. Not even photographs. Another aspect of crime in a correctional facility is the preservation of the crime scene by first responders. I do not know the expertise of your correctional officers but in my jurisdiction and surrounding areas, the officers have no training in the preservation of the scene much less how to document a scene. 

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Case for Review

Crime Scene Investigator Diver Technologists International

This is an actual case that occurred in the United States; however, the following is a simplified example of the procedure, which reflects some of the training required in conducting this type of Underwater Crime Scene Investigation.
A suspected homicide that may involve victims of unknown age has occurred. The C.S.I.D.T. Team has been called in by the CSI at three a.m. to investigate the possibility of children being the victims of an “accidental” drowning/possible homicide. The C.S.I.D.T. team specializes in Underwater Forensics Crime Scene Investigations, operating under OSHA Commercial Scientific Diving guidelines as their minimum training standards.
Upon arrival to the scene, the designated person in charge (D.P.I.C) consulted with the Police Officer in charge of the scene, while the C.S.I.D.T. team began a pre-dive briefing and job hazard evaluation. The C.S.I.D.T. Team did not approach the crime scene and therefore the surface support vessel was not placed into the water until the Police Departments CSI Team gave clearance for them to do so. In the pre-dive briefing, the type and size of the vehicle was determined by the CSI team to be a mid size sedan. CSI in charge of the scene asked the dispatcher to send a “Certified” roll back tow truck. This indicated that that the driver on call had undergone specific training by C.S.I.D.T; which included all applicable OSHA regulations. 

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Arrowhead Forensics un-du

Product Spotlight- 
un-du® Adhesive Label Remover

un-du® is back and taking the forensic market by storm. This ”all in one” award winning remover utilizes a patented formula and attached scraper tool system that safely and quickly removes all self sticking and pressure sensitive stickers, tapes, labels and adhesives on contact. un-du® will not leave behind any oily or greasy mess that can possibly harm ridge detail. un-du® simply evaporates leaving behind a clean sample to process. Evidence bound with adhesives or any crime commissioned with the use of tape can easily be removed with un-du® and processed for fingerprints using LCV or Tieg’s Liquid Powder. un-du® is acid free and photo safe. MSDS Sheets available. New VOC formula can now be purchased for departments in California.

More information from Arrowhead Forensics: Click Here

Mobile Crime Scene Vehicles

By Dick Warrington

This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine®  June 2008, Reprinted with Permission.

Recent advances in forensic science have significantly improved our ability to solve cases and convict criminals. In order to take advantage of the available technology, crime scene investigators must approach every crime scene with an eye towards capturing every possible piece of evidence. To accomplish this goal, investigators need to arrive at each scene with the proper equipment to conduct a thorough investigation. In addition, investigators now realize that with the right vehicle, they can often make an even stronger case by processing evidence right at major crime scenes. In this article, I’ll look at these issues and some of the options available for mobile crime scene vehicles.

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Nomad Light

Product Spotlight- 
Foxfury Nomad 4000 Lumen Portable LED Area-Spot Light

TMS now offers the Nomad – a portable area light which converts into a spotlight by unclipping the diffuser.  Nomad can be set to 4000, 2700 or 1300 lumens … and will run via battery for up to 9 hours depending on output mode.  Since Nomad can run via batteries, there is no need for a generator thus eliminating the risk of scene contamination.  Nomad may also run via AC or DC power.
Nomad is truly portable and deploys from its 33” x 4.6” integrated storage case in 20 seconds.  Just fold down the legs, raise the light to the desired height (up to 8 feet), tilt and swivel the light head to the desired location and press the on button.  Call within the next 30 days and save $100 off our web price.  TMS also offer 100 lumen hands-free headlamps.  For more information, contact TMS Medical Technologies at (800)374-9798 or www.tmsmedtec.com.


Cell Phone Apps- GPS Essentials

This month we are looking at Michael Schollmeyer's GPS Essentials program.  Free on the Android Market (or Google Play as it is now apparently known) GPS Essentials is an all in one navigation tool for Android.  It included GPS mapping and waypoints, route tracking, a compass, geo-tagging of photos and more.

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