Florida Division IAI Hosts 2016 Conference

The Florida Division of the International Association for Identification, the IAI’s largest division, has held another successful educational training conference at the Miami Downtown Hilton. The FDIAI 57th Annual Training Conference was held October 23rd-27th, 2016.

Group photo at the Florida Division IAI Conference

This is the largest division training conference in the country. A total of 338 delegates attended the conference this year with more than 42 speakers from as far away as Seattle presenting 61 lectures and workshops throughout the week. More than 42 exhibit booths were also on display showing the latest in forensic technology.

Attendees visit a booth in the exhibit hall

Each year the FDIAI holds its conference in three different areas of the state: Miami, Orlando, and Panama City Beach. This year in Miami included two 40-hour workshops in Basic Latent Print Identification and Crime Scene Investigation. In addition,a 16-hour workshop preparing for the IAI Crime Scene Certification was presented by Kelly Ayers from the University of West Virginia. Debbie Benningfield traveled from Texas to present an 8-hour Latent Print Workshop. There were also two- and four-hour workshops involving topics such as Palm Print Comparison, Arson Investigation, Crime Scene Photography, Footwear, Crime Scene Staging, and many others.

Latent print workshop

Our Keynote Speaker was Jeff Lindsay, author of the original best-selling Dexter novels on which the TV series was based. Jeff gave us a very colorful insight into his career and the television business.

Traveling from Ohio to present our feature lecture was Michael Wisniewski from the FBI. His topic was “Inside a Serial Kidnapper’s House - the Ariel Castro Investigation.” The was a hugely popular presentation.

Other guests presenting throughout the week included nationally recognized speakers Mack Brazelle, Morgan Hays, Laura Pettler, Michele Triplett, and King Brown among many others.

In addition to the varied training opportunities presented during the day, the evening had no shortage of excitement. Included with everyone’s full registration was the Sunday night President’s Reception, Monday’s Wine & Cheese Reception, the Tuesday Oktoberfest break and the Thursday night Installation Banquet. This year we brought back our very popular Tuesday night Halloween Costume party with some of the most original and outrageous costumes, many based on forensic themes. Everyone had a great time with our infamous disc jockey, Danny DeLeon, dancing the night away. Laura Pettler won the best costume award and a $500 gift card.

Halloween party costume contestants

We look forward to another great conference in 2017 in Panama City Beach, voted the most popular site for the conference. It will be held October 22-26, 2017. Information will be available in the spring on our website, www.fdiai.org.

— James Kammerer, FDIAI Conference Planner

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