News From the Field
Written by John Lechliter   

The Certification Era for Forensic Science and Evidence Technology

In 1982, author and futurist John Naisbitt predicted in his best-selling book, Megatrends, that the world was being transformed from an industrial to an information society. He also accurately forecasted the shift toward economic globalism and the growth of diversity in the United States.

Even Naisbitt may be surprised by the scope and speed with which the Internet and Information Age have revolutionized our society. For many of us, the professions we worked in just five years ago bear little resemblance to what we are doing today, and what we will be doing in five years is hard for us to even imagine.

This climate of constant change is revolutionizing the meaning and methods of higher education. A college degree is rapidly becoming only the starting point of a lifetime of education. For most professionals in the Information Age, to stop learning is to start falling behind.

For this reason, certifications are growing in importance as a way to keep up with technology that college professors could not have been expected to anticipate. A certification testifies to a professional’s experience and training, and good certifications require professionals to constantly learn about changes in their field. Certification is higher education that doesn’t become outdated.

The fields of forensic science and evidence technology exist on the cusp of innovation, so forensic and law enforcement professionals are finding that certification keeps them abreast of change and demonstrates that they are committed to continuing their education. Here are some things to consider when you start looking for a certification resource:

  • Is the certification relevant to your career path? Will certification make your work more valuable?
  • Does the company offering the certification have strict requirements on experience and education? Does it offer training courses and examinations that must be passed?
  • Does the certification require continuing education on an annual basis for recertification?
  • Have experts in the field participated in the development of the certification program?
  • Does the certification require membership in a professional association? Association membership connects you to many other quality professionals in your field, and it can open doors in your career.
  • Is the certification organization accredited or approved of by other organizations?

National Forensic Science Institute at the University of Tennessee has a new progam manager

Don Green, the former deputy chief of the Knoxville (Tennessee) Police Department has joined the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) as the program manager for the group’s National Forensic Science Institute (NFSI). He has been with the Knoxville Police Department since 1979 and served as division commander for their Criminal Investigative Division. Green has been associated with the university for some time, having provided instruction and technical assistance for LEIC for several years. He has also dealt with school safety and security planning, weapons of mass destruction, homeland security, and other special projects. Green is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Criminal Justice. At LEIC, Green will oversee the National Forensic Academy (NFA), a 10-week, hands-on training program for crime-scene investigators.


March-April 2008 (Volume 6, Number 2)
Evidence Technology Magazine
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