Royal Thai Police wrap up week-long training

Four officers from the Royal Thai Police, NFSTC@FIU staff, and an interpreter all stand for a group photo

While online training is a cost-effective way to deliver instruction, creating and sustaining these programs requires a special skillset. This week, four officers from the Royal Thai Police (RTP) worked with NFSTC@FIU’s Senior Instructional Design Strategist, Lori Sullivan, learning the logistics of building effective online training courses and the basic concepts of instructional design.

The RTP team, comprised scientists, crime scene technicians, and management staff, also toured the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Services Division. They saw first-hand some of the tools and technology used here in Pinellas County, including 3D crime scene scanning.

This project is part of our ongoing effort from a Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) grant. NFSTC@FIU will be working with the State Department to assist in the RTP’s long-term goal: to build several online training courses for their entire agency.

Online DNA Training modules now available

two analyst trainees use a blue alternate light source in a biological screening exercise
NFSTC@FIU’s online DNA analysis course is now available in smaller blocks, allowing you or your team to enroll in just the right content when you need it, saving money and time. Use them as a refresher or to bring new technical staff up to speed quickly.

Each module is available for only $450. Select from:
Biological Screening: Covering Evidence & DNA, Forensic Biology, and Communicating Results
DNA Analysis: Covering DNA Extraction & Quantitation, DNA Amplification, Capillary Electrophoresis, Amplified DNA Separation, and Communicating Results
Data Interpretation & Statistics: Covering STR Data Analysis & Interpretation, Population Genetics & Statistics, and Communicating Results

Of course, the full DNA Analyst course is still available and includes additional modules not listed above.

This high‐quality training houses the theoretical knowledge base for forensic biological screening and DNA analyst training. Content includes a pre-course assessment, new technologies, module quizzes and a final exam, and assessment reports are available for Technical Leaders.

Click the links above to learn more about any of these courses, or download our DNA analysis product page for more information, or contact us at sales-nfstc@fiu.edu.

NFSTC@FIU helps Moroccan forensic lab earn international accreditation

With the help of the National Forensic Science Technology Center at Florida International University (NFSTC@FIU), Morocco has earned its first international forensic laboratory accreditation.

Moroccan officials accept accreditation during a ceremony in October.

The center trained personnel from the laboratory that is home to the only DNA databasing unit in Morocco. That lab controls the uploading of genetic profiles that could lead to the identification of suspects in criminal investigations.

“This accreditation demonstrates the quality of the laboratory’s systems and work,” said David Sylvester, the center’s deputy executive director. “On an international level, it means that the laboratory’s clients can be assured of the validity and excellence of the laboratory testing results and conclusions.”

Forensic scientists from the Management and High Throughput Genotyping Unit of the Directorate General for National Security Police Scientific Laboratory in Casablanca trained with the center through a 12-month U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs grant.

In only eight months, the NFSTC@FIU team translated and reviewed material from French to English, coordinated training with personnel, reviewed quality assurance documents, and addressed issues that would affect the accreditation.

“There are more than 100 requirements that need to be met just to apply for accreditation,” Sylvester said. “It was a lot of work to undertake in a relative short amount of time, which speaks to the work ethic of the laboratory personnel.”

The Moroccan forensic scientists met the quality assurance requirements of the International Organization of Standardization’s 17025-2005 accreditation. After training and work on quality systems, the laboratory was evaluated by the American National Standards Institute-American Society for Quality National Accreditation Board and received accreditation.

The scientific lab for Morocco’s national police – the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) – handles DNA forensic testing work within the Kingdom of Morocco.  Utilizing the expertise and guidance of the National Science Forensic Technology Center (NFSTC), the police lab was recently granted ISO 17025 accreditation to perform DNA forensic testing. ISO 17025 is the standard for which most labs must hold accreditation to be deemed technically competent, and is the most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories worldwide.  This is the Moroccan police lab’s first international accreditation. Laboratories that are ISO accredited have demonstrated that they are able to produce precise and accurate tests and/or calibration data.

It’s a CSI Sale!

The entire month of September, our Introduction to CSI or Intermediate CSI online courses are just $99 each. That’s $30 off each course! Visit our online courses page and select which CSI course, Introduction or Intermediate, you want to take. Then enter the code “CSI SALE” for your coupon at check out. It’s that easy!

There’s no limit – so you can enroll yourself in both courses, or your entire team or class.

Start your investigation today!

Questions? Email us at nfstc-info@fiu.edu.

This sale is valid on the Introduction to CSI and Intermediate CSI online courses ONLY. Digital Crime Scene Photography, Introduction to Forensic Biology and our DNA Analyst courses are not eligible for the discount. 

Another successful ROTC Internship is in the books!

Last month we wrapped up our annual ROTC Biometrics and Forensic Internship, hosting a dozen top-notch Cadets to help them gain skills that will help the US Army continue to be the best in the world. We are committed educating future Army leaders through a unique internship experience they do not receive in college or basic ROTC training.

Every summer since 2009, NFSTC@FIU has offered a rigorous, two-week, one-of-a-kind Biometrics and Forensic Internship for a cadre of 12 ROTC Cadets from around the country.
The ability to properly collect and document evidence in hot zones and battle sites provides actionable intelligence and identification information that can make the difference for soldiers. This year’s Cadets received unique training similar to that provided to our Department of Defense customers. From DNA and digital data to firearms and fingerprints, these students were immersed in a field of growing importance to our nation’s security. As future leaders in the nation’s military, this internship also builds skills such as leadership, decision-making, and prioritizing actions under pressure.

The ROTC Cadets were hand-selected from colleges and universities from across the country for the program that costs up to $50,000 to host. NFSTC@FIU provides this experience at no cost to the students or command as part of our continuing commitment to educating future Army leaders.

'I couldn’t pick a favorite (part). I’ve enjoyed every day…definitely helped me decide what I want to branch when I get back.' @ArmyROTC Cadets wrap up internship at @NFSTC. Click To Tweet

Cadet Perez photographs developed fingerprint

So what happens next? Some of our former students have kept in touch and had this to say about their experiences:

Cadet Edgar Perez
Northern AZ University
Most recently, I have completed an internship with Arizona’s Department of Public Safety crime lab in Phoenix where I impressed many of the forensic scientists with my base knowledge of forensics. I impressed the latent print examiners with my ability to powder and lift prints.

Cadet Travis Reed
Kansas State University
Cadet Reed in the chemistry labI was able to use a large majority of our training this fall when I gave a lecture presentation on biochemistry and how it relates to forensics. I was able to use the ALS that was given to us in my presentation, which everyone found very interesting. Unfortunately after NFSTC, I can rarely watch a TV crime drama without spotting a technical error or a case of “fauxrensics.”

Next year, we’ll celebrate a decade of the ROTC internship. If you are a proud alumni, we’d love to hear from you! Share your story via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Want to see more pictures? Visit our Facebook page or check out our Flickr album.