Whether police are trying to catch a serial killer or solve a home burglary case, law enforcement can help their investigations by keeping up with trends in forensic science.
The University of Tennessee National Forensic Science Institute will host a symposium on advances in crime scene management, evidence collection and case studies Dec. 3-5 in Nashville.
The sessions will address emerging trends in forensic science and their implications for forensic investigations. The symposium is not open to the public; it is open only to law enforcement personnel and criminal justice practitioners, including officers, crime scene technicians, investigators, laboratory personnel, prosecutors, judges and medical examiners.
“Law enforcement personnel are held to high standards of accountability, so it’s important that they know the latest capabilities in forensic technology that are available to help them solve crimes,” said Don Green, program manager of the UT National Forensic Science Institute.
The symposium will offer sessions on DNA, deployable labs, ethics, digital image management, grant opportunities, latent fingerprinting on metals, Macro-Raman imaging and entomology. Speakers include representatives of the National Institute of Justice; the National Forensic Science Training Center; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Georgia Bureau of Investigations and the state of Georgia; SciLaw Forensics Ltd.; Foray Technologies; the Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, Police Department; Oak Ridge National Laboratories; and Saint Joseph’s College.
“Officers must keep current on forensic technologies. They should know to collect DNA evidence in property crimes — not just homicides — to dramatically increase the chance of identifying a suspect. They need to know about forensic laboratories that can be set up in less than an hour. They need to know the technical standards for managing digital evidence, and they must understand the acceptable ethical concepts that guide everything they do,” said Green.
On Friday, Dec. 5, three officials from Arizona will participate in a panel discussion on the Baseline Killer investigation that captured national attention. Mark Goudeau was convicted and sentenced last year to more than 400 years for one of the Baseline rapes. Unique aspects of the investigation and prosecution will be presented by the panel that includes attorney William Clayton, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office; Sgt. James Markey, Phoenix Police Department; and Allison Sedowski, forensic scientist with the Phoenix Police Department Laboratory. Markey was supervisor of the Baseline Killer Task Force.
“Symposium registrants represent both large and small law enforcement departments, and we are pleased with the national and international interest and registration for the symposium. These personnel can better serve justice -– particularly to victims and their families -– with the knowledge and expertise they will gain at the symposium,” said Green.
The symposium is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance.
The UT National Forensic Science Institute is a program of the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center, which is an agency of the statewide UT Institute for Public Service.