Can You Do Better Representing Your Forensic case(s)?

Can You Do Better Representing Your Forensic case(s)?

Can you do better representing the best you in your field of forensics? You represent yourself, the forensic discipline you practice, and the company you work for (a city, a county, a state, or a private company).  You reflect who you represent which is seen by the community you serve.

I have worked as a latent print examiner and crime scene responder in city, county, and state law enforcement agencies. I found it odd that city agencies rarely communicate forensically with county agencies to see what they do better in their forensic discipline(s). The inner workings of forensics in a law enforcement agency (city, county, or state) are different.  This could be because of funding, staffing issues, staff competency, size of a department, training, an "I don't care" attitude, or all of the above and more.

When you walk into a crime scene you should always be thinking, twelve jurors are watching you. I know most in patrol have minimal training in evidence collection, processing for latent prints, and photography and that should be good enough (wrong). Small agencies will call out county or state agencies to process larger crime scenes, so the smaller agencies don't need the training, right?  Can you do better...YES!!!!

If your agency has a 10-print or latent print unit, are they triaging the latent prints collected at a crime scene correctly or are they only looking at the "pretty prints" and ignoring everything else? If so, think of what is being missed and could be solved. Are you representing yourself, your agency, or your community the best you can?

If your agency has an AFIS system, are you searching the United States or just your area? Are you searching latent palm prints too (you should be)?  Can you do better…YES!!!!

Forensic ethics comes into play if you have control to do better forensically and choose not to do anything.

Are city agencies not reaching out to county agencies due to turnaround times, forensic partitioner's attitude, or lack of results, your case report shows a decrease in cases submitted, and or they are going to another county or to the state to get forensic service. Ask yourself why that is and do better!!!!

Is it funding, city agencies can ask for R.A.N. funding from their county agencies if their county is a participant. R.A.N. (remote access network) is funding from the State of California to law enforcement counties to provide funds for equipment, training, and staff for everything fingerprint/biometric practices. City agencies can ask for those funds. Usually, the county agency will not announce this to keep the funding "in-house" but legally if asked and the request is within the legal language they should not deny the city's request.  Do you need a new alternate light source to view the latent prints out in the field...R.A.N. funding.  Do you need to hire a forensic contractor to come in and assist...R.A.N. funding. Forensic training budget tight...R.A.N. funding. If you have any questions about R.A.N. funding or need a representative for your agency at the better and reach out to us. Read up on R.A.N. funding via my Published Articles blog "Every Penny Counts- R.A.N. Funding".

If you are "in charge" of a forensic department, unit or small staff ask yourself what are the "best practices" and can I do better to represent myself, my agency, and my community? 

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