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ON THE COVER: Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats are out there—and a group is working to develop new technology to detect and collect that kind of evidence. See full article here.

Read the Summer 2017 Issue online now!

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Coroners, Medical Examiners to Meet in July 2017

The 2017 International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners (IAC&ME) Training Symposium, July 22-28, 2017, will bring together leaders in medicolegal death investigations to one location for training and education. This Annual Training Symposium will be a valuable opportunity to network with coroners, medical examiners, deputy medical examiners, and their staff. This is an excellent opportunity to interface with other professionals like yourself.

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Essential CSI Topics to be Covered at Tennessee IAI Conference

The Tennessee Division of the International Association for Identification is holding its annual Educational Conference for Law Enforcement Personnel on July 18-20, 2017 at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Headquarters in Nashville, TN. This three-day event will include two days of presentations on a variety of topics pertaining to Criminal Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation, and Latent Print Examination.

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GCC and Abu Dhabi Police Team Up for November Conference

The inaugural GCC Forensic Science Conference and GCC DNA Symposium, supported by INTERPOL, will be taking place November 14-15, 2017, at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event is being organized jointly with Abu Dhabi Police and will cover a range of areas within forensic science, along with a third day of workshops after the conclusion of the main conferences.

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Upcoming Conference on Wildlife Forensics

The Society for Wildlife Forensic Science will be hosting its 2017 meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 5-9. The conference is held at Edinburgh University's John McIntyre Conference Centre. The program combines workshops, presentations, discussions and social events designed to allow wildlife forensic practitioners and students to network and communicate with the broader law enforcement community.

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3D Technologies for the Investigation of Shooting Incidents

Shooting incidents represent a problem that has grown throughout the United States for years, and persists at a concerning level. Officer-involved shootings have been a particular focus over the past several years due to greater public pressure and the increased frequency of having these incidents caught on video. In 2015, The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report that estimated the number of justifiable homicides in the United States between 2003-11 (excluding 2010) was 7,427, or an average of 928 law enforcement homicides per year. The situations that prompt officer-involved shootings vary widely. According to The Washington Post, in an analysis of 385 fatal police shootings in the first five months of 2015, about half of the time police were responding to people seeking help with domestic disturbances and other complex social situations: erratic behavior, people threatening violence, others attempting to kill themselves. The other half of shootings involved non-domestic crimes, according to the newspaper.

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Unconventional Forensics

New technology and research to combat the threat of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear devices.

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Documenting Vehicle Crashes with Drone Photogrammetry

It was an early summer morning in June when a minibus from the Providence Center, an organization serving those with mental illness, headed south on Ritchie Highway in Maryland. The morning was already warm as the vehicle passed through wooded areas heavy with greenery. At precisely 7:15 a.m., a random and unfortunate event struck the moving bus, in the form of a falling tree.

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Editorial: Flashback to 2009

The National Commission on Forensic Science is no more. The commission — borne by the uncertainty and media backlash in the wake of the 2009 National Academy of Sciences Report  — lasted for a little more than three years, held 13 meetings, and produced a list of recommendations and documents intended to strengthen the foundation of forensic science.

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NIBIN: National Integrated Ballistic Information Network

Developed in 1999, the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) is a nationally interconnected, computer-assisted ballistics imaging system operated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and used by firearms examiners to obtain computerized images of bullets and cartridge cases. It is “the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms”. NIBIN is composed of several computer-connected networks, and the goal is for NIBIN data to be shared nationally. To meet that goal, the ATF has more than 80 offices around the country that serve as repositories for the deposit and retrieval of ballistic images, assisted by 172 sites and 3,500 agencies nationwide.

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NIST Research Contributes to Expanded Forensic DNA Profiles

This year marks an important milestone in the development of forensic DNA profiling in the United States. Since the FBI’s National DNA Index System, or NDIS, came online in 1998, forensic laboratories in the United States have been generating DNA profiles by analyzing a specific set of 13 genetic markers. On January 1, 2017, the FBI started requiring that all DNA profiles submitted to NDIS be based on 20 markers.

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Editorial

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES of writing and editing a magazine is telling a story in a relatively small amount of space. Sometimes it seems like there is never enough room to say everything that needs to be said. I find myself making tough decisions about what parts stay and what parts go.

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