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Training Update: Course Descriptions (Part 2) for the FY2001 Specialized Forensic Science Training Program (FSC, October 2000)

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Masthead - Forensic Science Communications
October 2000   Volume 2   Number 4

Training Update

FY2001 Specialized Forensic Science Training Program

Course Descriptions — Part 2

FINGERPRINTS

LFP 103
Administrative
Advanced Latent
Fingerprints

Course
Length:
Three weeks. Five hours of undergraduate credit can be earned from this course. 
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory and/or law enforcement personnel who have completed training in friction ridge skin examinations and are currently active in latent print comparison work. 
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This is an advanced course providing concentrated studies in all phases of latent print work including how to effectively identify, preserve, and process latent print evidence both at crime scenes and in the laboratory. The preparation and presentation of expert fingerprint testimony during judicial proceedings is emphasized.

This course also presents instruction and information in the following areas:

  • Scientific background of fingerprint identification.

  • Practical work in evaluating, comparing, and identifying latent prints.

  • Organization and operation of a latent fingerprint section.

  • Techniques of instruction and effective communications.

  • Criminology for the identification officer.

  • Basic rules of evidence and recent court decisions.

  • Deceased identification techniques.

  • FBI Disaster Squad.

  • Status of fingerprint automation.


New Course

LFP 105
Latent Print
Development
Techniques

Course
Length:
Three days.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory and/or law enforcement personnel actively involved in processing evidence or supervising those who do.
Prerequisites: None. 
Description: This course will address development of latent prints on all surfaces with emphasis on productive processes. Students should have basic knowledge of fingerprint science, history, pattern recognition, and basic development techniques. Students will be required to participate in laboratory exercises mixing and using chemicals.


New Course

LFP 110
Procedures
for Recording
Inked Prints

Course
Length:
Two days.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory and/or law enforcement personnel responsible for printing individuals (living or deceased).
Prerequisites: None. 
Description: This course will address the proper procedures for recording inked fingerprints, palm prints, and full sets of major case prints (all friction ridge on hands and fingers). Lecture topics include post-mortem printing of intact bodies, printing of victims of disasters that result in fragmented bodies, including fingers that are mummified, burned, water soaked, and crushed. Students will be required to complete a full set of major case prints.


LFP 120
Fingerprint Expert
Testimony School

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory and/or law enforcement personnel actively conducting latent print comparisons.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course provides information and instruction to help the latent print examiner prepare for trial testimony.

The following topics are covered:

  • Proper procedures for the collection, preservation, and preparation of evidence for trial.

  • Presentation of testimony for investigators, crime scene technicians, and laboratory personnel who are responsible for processing evidence for latent prints and who are assigned the task of print comparisons (both inked and latent).

  • Details concerning various courtroom procedures.

  • Guidelines for witness demeanor and appearance.

Students will present crime-scene-to-courtroom testimony in connection with an assigned case scenario with the emphasis on latent print aspects. 



Distance Learning Course

LFP 130
Friction Ridge
Examiner
Training

Minimum Computer
Requirements:
  • Pentium with floating-point coprocessor.

  • 16-MB memory minimum, 32-MB memory recommended.

  • Windows 95 or Windows NT 3.5.1 or later versions.

  • CD-ROM drive, sound card with speakers, and minimum 1024 × 768 monitor resolution.
Course
Length:
Students will have at least one month from the issue date to complete this distance learning course and submit their test scores. Contact hours will vary from student to student.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory friction ridge examiners at all skill and knowledge levels (beginning to advanced).
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course focuses on the analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification (ACE-V) methodology for the examination of friction ridge skin impressions. Trial and Daubert hearing testimony information will be provided. The course is presented in an interactive learning environment with many activities and quizzes.

The course consists of nine modules:

  • Language of fingerprints.

  • Skin anatomy and physiology.

  • ACE-V methodology.

  • Analysis.

  • Comparison.

  • Evaluation.

  • Verification.

  • Testimony.

  • History, statistics, and other reference material.

Back to the course listing


FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION

New Course that is Road School Only

FTU 101
Gunpowder and
Gunshot Residue

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory firearm examiners or other laboratory personnel responsible for chemically processing clothing for gunshot residues.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course is designed to provide students with training in visual, chemical, and microscopic examinations of clothing to determine muzzle-to-garment distance at the time of the shooting. Through participation in this course, students will learn the following:

  • Recognition of various types of gunpowders.

  • Chemical processing techniques for the presence of lead, copper, and other residues consistent with the firing of a gun. 


New Course

FTU 105
Moot Court for
Firearms
Examiners

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory firearms examiners who are qualified in firearms and gunshot residue detection and who have worked in the field of firearms for five years (minimum).
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course is designed to give firearms examiners training related to courtroom testimony.

Training will be provided by firearm examiners, attorneys, and judges in courtroom practices and presentation of evidence related to the field of firearm examinations. Topics covered include presentation of testimony, various courtroom procedures, and witness demeanor and appearance.

Prior to the course, students will receive two cases (firearms and firearms and gunshot residues). The cases must be completed and returned with a report of the students' findings, notes, tests, and photographs prior to the class. Each student will be required to undergo a moot court for the two cases.



FTU 111
Techniques in
Firearms
Identification

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible Students: Crime laboratory firearm examiners (must have successfully completed their initial training program).
Prerequisites: None. 
Description:

This course covers material designed to promote a uniform approach to firearms examinations, documentation, and testimony and to enhance the level of proficiency and confidence of the firearms examiner.

Topics will include practical case work, general rifling characteristics determination from mutilated bullets, pitfalls in firearms identification, accidental firing problems, moot court training, and testimony. 



FTU 121
Bullet
Trajectory
Analysis

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory firearm examiners with some crime scene responsibilities.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course is designed to provide the forensic firearm examiner with crime scene training related to fired evidence and/or crimes involving firearms.

Through participation in this course, students will learn the following:

  • Determination of caliber and other projectile class characteristics through the examination of bullet holes and impact areas.

  • Determination of trajectory angle of incidence through the examination of bullet holes and impact areas.

  • Projectile penetration and deflection characteristics.

  • Use of lasers, strings, and other tools or techniques for trajectory determinations.

  • A chemical field test for the presence of lead in suspected bullet impact areas.

  • How bloodstain pattern analysis can assist in trajectory determinations.

  • Determination of directionality and the order of occurrence of bullet holes in glass.

Back to the course listing


FOOTWEAR IDENTIFICATION

DOC 121
Examination of
Footwear
Impression
Evidence

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory examiners who conduct footwear examinations and/or comparisons.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course covers examination protocols and procedures for comparing known footwear with questioned impressions. Numerous practical exercises of varying degrees of difficulty are assigned and reviewed in class.

This course will also review the most current methods for the retrieval of footwear evidence from the crime scene and will include physical and chemical methods of enhancement. Footwear manufacturing and its significance in the examination process are covered.


Back to the course listing


FORENSIC SUPPORT TOPICS

SPS 102
Forensic
Facial
Imaging

Course
Length:
Three weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Law enforcement officers and/or crime laboratory personnel who are practicing composite artists and who possess mid- to upper-level skills in the preparation of composite art.
Prerequisites: Applicants must submit both work- and non-work-related examples of drawings with their application.
Description:

This is a comprehensive course developed for the purpose of training police artists to effectively prepare composite drawings of unknown subjects from witness descriptions.

In addition to instruction in composite art, the course offers instruction in interview techniques, facial aging, courtroom testimony, digital photographic retouching, and
hands-on training in three-dimensional facial reconstruction.

Structure of the course has evolved from many years of study and experience by FBI composite artists together with extensive consultation with state and local police artists. Counselors and instructors will be FBI personnel assisted on occasion by guest speakers in the fields of anthropology, psychology, and police art.



SPS 120
Polygraph
Examinations

Course
Length:
Two weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Law enforcement officers and investigators responsible for conducting polygraph examinations.
Prerequisites: None. 
Description:

This course focuses on current polygraph testing techniques, procedures, technology, and equipment. The course curriculum includes an overview of the polygraph programs of the FBI and other federal agencies.

Specific course instruction will cover the following:

  • Available testing formats and techniques.

  • Question formulation.

  • Chart interpretation.

  • Countermeasures detection.

  • Quality assurance reviews.

  • Instrumentation.

  • Interview and interrogation techniques.

  • Applicant screening.

  • A comparison of available technology (analog versus computer polygraph instruments).

Back to the course listing


FORENSIC VIDEOGRAPHY

Note: Applicants seeking to attend AVU 120 or AVU 130 training classes need not apply to AVU 110 separately. This training is a prerequisite, and an agency's training slot will not be used.

New Course

AVU 110
Introduction to
Forensic Video
Technology
and the Law

Course
Length:
Two days.
Eligible
Students:
Law enforcement personnel involved in video analysis, production, and crime scene videography.
Prerequisites: Applicants must successfully complete a self-study course and exam prior to attendance. Successful completion of this course is a prerequisite to AVU 120 or AVU 130.
Description:

This course will assist newly assigned forensic video examiners or technicians with the examination of analog and digital video technologies and their applications in forensic analysis. It will provide an understanding of the complexities of evidentiary admissibility in the courts. This class will provide insight in the selection or configuration of non-linear video processing suites. This course covers development of a proper forensic mindset and includes information to help avoid some of the pitfalls of handling digital video evidence. The course topics include the following:

  • CCDs.

  • Videotape and other storage formats.

  • Video security systems.

  • Originals versus duplicates.

  • Resolution issues.

  • Daubert, 403, and Frye.

  • Building versus buying non-linear digital systems.


New Course

AVU 120
Digital Forensic
Video Analysis

Course
Length:
Three days.
Eligible
Students:
Law enforcement personnel involved in video analysis, production, and crime scene videography.
Prerequisites: Applicants must successfully complete AVU 110 (and a distance learning course, pending its availability) prior to attendance. Do not apply to AVU 110 separately. This training is a prerequisite, and an agency's training slot will not be used. 
Description: This in-depth, hands-on course is designed for the forensic video examiner or technician. The course examines different video security systems and how they capture video signals to tape. Students will learn how to digitize video for effective forensic examination and discover how to locate hidden images on videotape and display them effectively for court. Specific tactics, strategies, and tools of the forensic video examiner will be examined and discussed in detail. Video-related criminal cases are processed as students participate in a laboratory environment.


New Course

AVU 130
Crime Scene
Videography

Course
Length:
Three days.
Eligible
Students:
Law enforcement personnel involved in video analysis, production, and crime scene videography.
Prerequisites: Applicants must successfully complete AVU 110 (and a distance learning course, pending its availability) prior to attendance. Do not apply to AVU 110 separately. This training is a prerequisite, and an agency's training slot will not be used. 
Description:

This course examines the skills needed to properly videotape a crime scene. This course is designed for individuals who are assigned the role of videotaping a variety of incidents, such as homicides, arsons, bombings, accident re-creations, officer-involved shootings, lineups, and suspect interviews. Students are required to bring camcorders and videotape two mock crime scenes.

The final grade will be based upon class participation, practicals, and the written exam. Upon successful completion, students will better understand the benefits of videography in the investigative process, how to properly document a variety of crime scenes, how to care and handle equipment while knowing its limitations, and how to prepare evidence for court presentation.


Back to the course listing


PHOTOGRAPHY

FST 142
Police
Photography

Course
Length:
Two weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Police investigators, evidence technicians, and/or crime laboratory personnel responsible for crime scene photography.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This is a basic level course designed to provide students with a working knowledge of investigative photography. Although the main focus of the course is on basic techniques, students are provided with information on some advanced techniques and their application to crime scenes, accident scenes, surveillance, and other investigative areas.

Hands-on training is provided in the use of various cameras, electronic flash, long lenses, and night surveillance equipment. Film will be processed and printed for immediate feedback and evaluation. Instructors will be FBI personnel with guest lecturers with expertise in bombings, accidents, autopsy, arson, and other investigative areas.

Upon completion of the course, students will understand the potential of photography as an investigative tool and will possess the skills necessary for making quality photographs that are acceptable for investigative purposes.



FST 145
Surveillance
Photography

Course
Length:
Two weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Police investigators involved with surveillance photography. 
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of photographic surveillance techniques. Basic photographic principles will be reviewed, including information on lenses, exposure determinations, and selection of films.

Special topics pertinent to surveillance photography include the following:

  • Basic surveillance techniques.

  • Advanced surveillance techniques.

  • Night photography with conventional equipment.

  • Photographing from vehicles.

  • Specialized photographic equipment.

Students will participate in numerous practical exercises to reinforce lecture material and gain hands-on experience with surveillance techniques.



FST 148
Forensic
Photography

Course
Length:
Two weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Police investigators, evidence technicians, and/or crime laboratory personnel responsible for crime scene photography.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This is an advanced level course. Knowledge of photographic theory and practical techniques is a must. The main focus of the course is work to be performed in a laboratory setting, but techniques will be taught that are applicable to crime scene locations.

Advanced instruction will be given in the use of alternate light sources, films, filters, and exposure compensation. The techniques to be taught will be used for the following purposes:

  • Obliterations.

  • Macro- and microphotography.

  • Indented writing.

  • Latent impression enhancement.

  • Fingerprints.


FST 160
Digital Imaging of
Evidentiary
Photography

Course
Length:
Two weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Law enforcement officers and crime laboratory personnel working with digital imaging.
Prerequisites: Applicants should have a basic understanding of the Windows 95, 98, or NT operating system.
Description:

The course will explore digital imaging technology and parallel it with traditional silver-halide photography. This course introduces the student to imaging technology that involves capture devices, capture media, enhancement techniques, and archival media for original and enhanced images for both short- and long-term storage. Also, electronic digital imaging still and video photography and silver-halide photography of images from physical evidence at crime scenes and in crime laboratories.

At the end of this course, students will be able to do the following:

  • Recommend implementing new technologies to improve productivity.

  • Change their SOPs to reflect implementing the new approach in their current budget.

  • Recommend an enhanced budget that incorporates the new approach.

Each student will be required to give a presentation on digital imaging in their department to include a case, imaging equipment, related peripheral devices, software, and the department's SOPs. 



LFP 112
Latent
Fingerprint
Photography

Course
Length:
Two weeks. Three hours of undergraduate credit can be earned from this course. 
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory and/or law enforcement personnel involved in photographically preserving latent print or other detailed evidence.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course provides extensive information and practical exercises pertinent to the forensic photography of latent prints found or developed on physical evidence at a crime scene or in a laboratory.

Organization and operation of a photographic laboratory is covered. Equipment and procedures pertinent to forensic photography and to the detection and preserving of physical evidence are also presented.

The following additional major topics are included in this course:

  • Proper selection of cameras, lenses, tripods, films, and filters.

  • Specialized lighting techniques.

  • Use of forensic monochromatic light sources.

  • Comparison of the methodology of digital photography versus silver-based film.

Back to the course listing


QUALITY ASSURANCE AND SAFETY

FSR 150
Forensic Laboratory
Quality Assurance

Course
Length:
Four days.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory managers, supervisors, and others responsible for the development and supervision of laboratory quality assurance programs.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course is designed to introduce students to the various principles for quality assurance in a forensic laboratory environment.

The following topics will be included in the course:

  • Introduction to quality concepts and basic laboratory quality assurance principles.

  • Documentation and document control.

  • Writing standard operating procedures.

  • Proficiency testing.

  • Validation and test standards.

  • Auditing principles.

  • Accreditation and certification.

  • Corrective action programs.

  • Principles of instrument calibration and maintenance.

  • Technical working groups.

Class discussion is scheduled in each topic area.



FSR 155
Performing
Effective Audits

Course
Length:
Four days.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory managers, supervisors, and others responsible for conducting quality assurance audits in a laboratory.
Prerequisites: None. 
Description: This course will cover the elements of performing successful and effective audits in a laboratory. It is designed to assist quality managers conducting an audit that is meaningful and how to use that audit to improve the quality system. 


New Course

FSR 160
DNA Auditing

Course
Length:
Two and one half days.
Eligible
Students:
DNA ASCLD/LAB inspectors, DAB auditors, DNA crime laboratory managers, supervisors, and others responsible for the development and supervision of laboratory quality assurance programs and/or for conducting DNA audits.
Prerequisites: None.
Description: This course focuses on identifying and defining the elements of an effective audit of DNA analysis in a crime laboratory. The goal of the class is to provide training on a newly developed DNA audit document that uses ISO Guide 17025 guidelines and could be used to help satisfy the ASCLD/LAB and DNA Advisory Board requirements.


New Course

FSR 165
Forensic Laboratory
Health and Safety

Course
Length:
Two and one half days.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory managers, supervisors, and others responsible for the development and supervision of laboratory health and safety programs.
Prerequisites: None. 
Description:

This course will cover health and safety issues pertinent to the crime laboratory setting. The focus of the course will be on covering the following topics that should be included in a laboratory's safety manual:

  • Emergency and first aid procedures.

  • Safety policy statements.

  • Responsibility and authority.

  • Safety practices and procedures on the following:

    • Occupant emergency plan.

    • Personal protective equipment.

    • Bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan.

    • Chemical hygiene plan.

    • Hazardous waste disposal.

    • Spill control and containment.

    • Laboratory fume hoods.

    • Respiratory protection.

    • Ergonomics and office safety.

Back to the course listing


TRACE EVIDENCE

New Course

FSR 170
Statistics for
Trace Analysis

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory personnel conducting examinations in the area of trace evidence. Students need not have a strong background in statistics.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

This course will provide students with an understanding of basic statistical concepts as they apply to evaluation of trace or transfer evidence, such as the comparison of a broken window at a crime scene with glass fragments recovered from a suspected burglar. Statistical approaches will be developed to answer the questions of whether two items are indistinguishable and, if so, what significance can be placed on such a finding.

The class will cover both traditional (frequentist) approaches and the Bayesian likelihood ratio approach. This class will not address issues concerning evaluation of biological evidence, such as population genetics, and is not intended for examiners of DNA evidence.



MAU 102
Introduction to
Hairs and Fibers

Course
Length:
Two weeks.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory trainees in forensic microscopy of hairs and fibers.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

The course is designed to provide a basic framework for future study in these disciplines.

This course provides an introduction to methods of collecting, handling, preparing, identifying, and comparing hairs, textile fibers, and other types of fibrous materials that may be encountered as physical evidence in a forensic laboratory.

The identification and comparison of animal and human hairs using the comparison microscope will be provided. Hands-on experience will be provided for textile fiber identification using the polarized-light microscope. An overview of the important optical and instrumental methods currently used for the identification of fibers in forensic laboratories is presented. Information concerning the examination of fabric, cordage, tape, and other fiber-related materials is also presented. 



New Course

MAU 130
Fundamentals
of Glass
Examination

Course
Length:
One week.
Eligible
Students:
Crime laboratory examiners conducting examinations of glass evidence.
Prerequisites: None.
Description:

The course will provide students with an understanding of forensic glass analysis. Lectures will cover the types of glass, manufacturing processes in the glass industry, the chemistry of glass, fracture examinations, physical examinations, chemical examinations, comparison of data, and forming a critical opinion.

Hands-on laboratory experiments will include physical and microscopic properties, refractive index using both double variation and automated temperature variation methods. Students will be introduced to elemental analysis by SEM–EDX, XRF, ICP–AES, and ICP–MS. Students will evaluate the significance of glass evidence in a courtroom testimony environment by using some or all of these tests.



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FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS     OCTOBER 2000   VOLUME 2   NUMBER 4

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