44th Annual ASCLD Symposium - 2017

The 44th annual ASCLD Symposium was held in Dallas, Texas, April 30 through May 4, 2017. The Dallas meeting marked one of ASCLD’s most successful conferences to date with 510 registered attendees from the United States and eight other countries. The meeting welcomed keynote speakers crime survivor Natasha Alexenko, U.S. Attorney John Parker, professional leadership expert speakers Jim Ferrell from Arbinger Institute and Jimmy Capra from Front Line Leadership, and firearms expert Luke Haag for an incredible reconstruction of the JFK shooting at Dealey Plaza Museum.

The theme for this year's meeting was “Continuous Improvement: Leading through Continuous Learning”. The goal was to provide innovative techniques to mentor and inspire employees by providing actionable tools and transportable information that could be directly applied to improve crime lab operations. Attendees left the symposium with new and innovative methods to improve their leadership skills.

At the symposium, ASCLD hosted its most successful Leadership Academy to date welcoming 85 lab leaders for a 2 day capstone course which concluded 12 weeks of distance learning through webinars and assignments. Not only were there attendees from the United States in the Academy but there were also several international students, some of which plan to take back the basic plans from the ASCLD academy to begin the training in their own countries. The large attendance and interest by other countries demonstrates the high quality of the training as well as the need for this type of training for forensic leaders.

Twelve pre-meeting workshops covered a diverse variety of topics including leadership, latent cause analysis, quality issues, research initiatives, grant management, employee mentoring, training and education. Thirty-three plenary presentations covered the gambit of forensic issues, with updates on emerging technologies, training, quality assurance and national initiatives. Perhaps the greatest benefits of the annual symposium are the face to face meetings and discussions among crime lab leadership as old relationships are refreshed and new relationships are forged.

In addition to all of the training and speakers at the symposium, attendees were able to gather information from 61 vendors on new forensic equipment and software programs. Vendors were available for a little over two days to show off their products and discuss needs in the forensic laboratories.

ASCLD is already in the process of planning the 45th Annual ASCLD Symposium which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 20 - 24, 2018. The symposium will once again provide excellent leadership training as well as provide information on new technology and serve as a great networking environment for forensic managers. If you have any questions regarding the symposium, you can contact Executive Director Jean Stover at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2018 ASCLD Symposium!

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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)