ON THE COVER: Efforts are underway to created coordinated Rapid DNA responses to mass fatality incidents.

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Don't Miss the World's Largest Meeting for DNA Forensics

DNA typing was in its infancy, RFLP was state of the art and the world-wide web was years in the future when the first International Symposium on Human Identification was held in 1989. Thirty years later both forensic science and ISHI have progressed in ways that would have seemed unlikely three decades ago.

Third Forensic Laboratory Voluntarily Adopts OSAC Standards

LATE LAST YEAR, the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) became the third crime laboratory to voluntarily adopt standards approved by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC). Those standards define minimum requirements, best practices, scientific protocols, and other guidance to help ensure that the results of forensic analysis are reliable and reproducible.

Resources for Evidence Management in Health Care Settings

Academy of Forensic Nursing founding members contribute to the establishment of evidence management guidelines

FORENSIC NURSING is a nursing specialty (ANA, 1995) reflecting a theoretical nursing framework of practice that is scientifically sound and supported by published evidence (Speck & Peters, 1999). Forensic nurses work in a variety of practice settings providing nursing care to patients who intersect with legal systems. For years, sexual assault victims sought care in emergency departments, to be overlooked or passed-by for patients who had emerging physical needs (Speck & Aiken, 1995) (Speck & Patton, 2010). Little was understood about the emergent condition of the sexually assaulted patient, and often, patients left the emergency department without receiving care (Aiken & Speck, 1991).

Identifying & Evaluating Ordnance: A Seven-Step Practical Process

FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATION, seven steps are used to define each aspect of the ordnance identification and evaluation process. When properly applied, this process greatly increases the probability of an accurate identification. This starts with the realization that ordnance is inherently dangerous. As such, approach constitutes a decision point. For safety, the overall mindset is that the unknown munition may contain the most hazardous features possible and is in a hazardous condition.

Rapid DNA & Mass Fatality Incidents

Become Part of a Cooperative Group that Supports Others in Mass Fatality Incident Responses

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 was a bright blue perfect day along the eastern part of the U.S. I was working in my home office in northern Virginia when a client in a Midwest crime laboratory called and asked me what was going on along the East Coast. I turned on the news, and my professional career changed forever.

Artificial Intelligence Combines with Human Intelligence to Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Technology companies work with law enforcement to raise the bar on social communities to prevent abuse

THE ORIGINAL IDEA FOR THE INTERNET was to create a universal connection between people, offering a way to access and share information. Its inception, partially driven by scientific needs, ultimately proved to be a way for everyday people to participate in global conversations. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out only in the way it was intended; there are pitfalls that come with exposure to vast networks. The plethora of connections in our lives are also potentially invasive threats. The same connectivity and curiosity that opened new worlds to people is now routinely used to hurt them. Children are especially vulnerable.


Product Review: Footwear Identification with SoleMate

DATABASES HAVE BECOME an important foundation of forensic science and law enforcement. Everything from DNA and fingerprints to glass and paint has a database that can be accessed and searched. Some databases provide information that allow for the identification to a particular source (such as DNA and fingerprints) while other databases provide information as to a class of materials or objects (such as glass and paint). In their infancy, these databases were slow, cumbersome, and time consuming to use, but as technology has made quantum leaps forward, these limiting factors have been mitigated to a large degree.

Drones in Public Safety Agencies

IN THE PAST, DRONES WERE MAINLY flown as a popular side hobby for individuals and commercial users. When it came to public safety, most agencies used helicopters to carry out tasks requiring aerial assistance. However, using helicopters is extremely expensive and risky, and can cost upwards of $5,800 an hour. Meanwhile, the cost of drones has steadily decreased with further advancements in technology and materials, making their value-proposition ever clearer in comparison.

Tool Kit: Accident & Crime Scene Reconstruction

Here are some tools and software that will help with accident and crime scene reconstruction.

Four Ways to Recover DVR Video Evidence

One of the best resources available to you at a crime scene is the video footage found within nearby surveillance cameras. Whether you are a Crime Scene Investigator, a Detective, or a Digital Forensics Specialist… knowing how to properly and safely recover video evidence from DVR surveillance is vital to the success of your investigation. There are four main ways to recover DVR surveillance footage, both on-scene and back in your crime lab.


Image Clarification Workflow

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I received a call from Ocean Systems asking if I would like to beta test their newest software—ClearID v2.0 Image Clarification Workflow. The new progam has filters that were designed for use with Adobe’s Photoshop graphics-editing program.