All posts by C Vivian

Department of State-funded training wraps up

ALS workshop and discussionsThe intense 20-week DNA analyst training for 14 Central American students has concluded and participants are safely back in their home countries.  On site since January, the students tackled techniques and protocols from bio-screening to trial presentation via a blended learning approach.

Discussing statistics results at NFSTCThe students used our online DNA Training program to gain history and theoretical knowledge, followed by hands-on instruction and practice in every step of DNA analysis. NFSTC provided Spanish-speaking instructors and an interpreter to assist at every level, ensuring quality training regardless of language barriers.

Five countries, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama, each sent two or three representatives. Each laboratory faces its own set of obstacles, but thorough training and consistent knowledge will help build capacity, moving towards accreditation, and support justice initiatives moving forward.

This training was the initial task provided through NFSTC’s first Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) grant. Crime scene training and other projects will follow in the coming months.

You can read more about the program in Forensic Magazine.

INL DNA analyst class

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Looking for a new challenge?

Flask holding a liquid, illuminated with an alternate light source.We want to know! Here at NFSTC, we are always looking for the best talent in forensic science and biometric intelligence.  We are currently seeking expertise in the following areas:

  • Forensic Biology/DNA
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Latent Print  and Biometrics Instructors
  • Computer Forensics (CELLEX/DOMEX)
  • Instruction/Training Military
  • Identity Intelligence
  • Site Exploitation

Multi-lingual capabilities are definitely a plus.

If you are motivated, talented and open to challenges, let us know you are interested in potential opportunities with the NFSTC Team.

  • Click here to learn more about our current position openings and contingent positions pending contract, and/or
  • Click here to be added to our Talent Pipeline for future employment or independent contractor opportunities.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinked In and YouTube for news about NFSTC projects and happenings.

The legal stuff:
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer (minorities/women/disabled/veterans), and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. NFSTC is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

 

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NFSTC to host free federal surplus program training

Image of the NFSTC challenge coin.Does your nonprofit, school or agency need materials to support programs?  Florida’s State Agency for Surplus Property (SASP) provides qualified groups access to a database of government surplus items, allowing them to acquire no- or reduced-cost goods.

What kind of materials are available? You can find thousands of items from circuit breakers to tractor trailers. Organizations can benefit by acquiring small or big-ticket items at very budget-friendly prices.

NFSTC is hosting a training session on Tuesday, September 27 for organizations in the Tampa Bay/Central Florida area to learn about how to access, use and benefit from SASP.

Your organizations may qualify for access if you are a

  • State or public agency.
  • Nonprofit educational or public health institution (including programs for the homeless and impoverished).
  • Museum, VFW, SBA 8(a).
  • Nonprofit or public program for the elderly.
  • Public airport.
  • Educational activity of special interest to the U.S. Armed Forces.

Learn more about SASP Eligibility here.

Space is limited. Reserve your seat for this free training today.

Note: This training provided by the Florida Department of Management Services.  Surplus program is run by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

NFSTC Notice: Fentanyl Precautions for Responders

Warning IconA barrage of recent news, headlined by the death of Prince, highlights the dangers of opioid-based painkillers and fentanyl in particular. Although prescription fentanyl is not new, versions of the drug are being created and sold outside the controls of normal pharmaceutical production and distribution, resulting in uncontrolled manufacturing, low cost, high availability, and extreme dosages of the drug. Unlike many illicit drugs, the fentanyl being found on the streets is lethal and can affect officers who do nothing more than handle the sample during a routine stop.

Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine Click To Tweet and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin.

NFSTC believes widespread general precautions should be taken by all officers, evidence personnel and laboratory analysts who are at risk simply by their exposure to unknown powders and liquids.

Recommended General Precautions:
Fentanyl is manufactured in pill, powder, liquid and patch formats. Fentanyl has been found in heroin and other drugs, so its presence cannot be excluded just because it is not in a traditional form.

Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and Evidence Personnel:
Proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):  Minimum PPE is advised for ALL DRUG-RELATED ENCOUNTERS includes gloves, mask and eye protection.

Processes and Protocol:
Due to the extreme toxicity of this substance in all forms, NFSTC recommends every agency conduct an immediate review of unknown powder and drug collection protocols and evidence processing.

  1. Do NOT open samples or containers that appear to be drugs without PPE. (Don’t know? Don’t open!)
  2. Do not perform any field-testing without PPE and, if possible, in a fume hood.
  3. Communicate with other first responders and emergency personnel when unknown or suspect material is present.

NFSTC believes it is imperative for personnel at every point in this process be properly trained and knowledgeable about the policies and protocols of their agency, and adhere to them.

For a printable page and resources, click here.

NFSTC’s myth busting web series wins Communicator Award

online_video_silver_22Have you seen Fauxrensics yet? Our original web video series has been recognized with a Communicator Silver Award of Distinction by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. A win in this annual international competition is coveted by communications professionals the world over.

The Fauxrensics video series is designed to ask the question, “Real or Faux?” about forensic science and investigative techniques regularly shown in popular television crime dramas. They are commonly misrepresented and these short, fun videos help educate viewers on how the science works in the real world. The name was inspired by Tampa Bay Rays fans and their popular ‘fauxhawk’ hair style.

“Forensic science on TV is tricky. It’s grounded in science, which makes inaccurate portrayals very convincing to the average viewer. I thought this approach would be a fun way to reach and teach our non-scientist viewers,” says Bill Duffin, NFSTC senior media producer and creator of the concept. “Our core audience faces these misconceptions every day. But for many people, when it comes to forensic science, convincing TV isn’t always correct science.”

Watch the first five episodes on YouTube and look for four more in June, on ‘Fauxrensic Fridays,’ of course.

“People would never think to look to a forensic services company for video and media production, but it has become an integral offering for NFSTC and we do work for ourselves and many different clients,” says Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “We are proud of our communications team and their consistently creative and effective materials.”

NFSTC also produces the monthly Forensic Update news video, Forensic Science Simplified (www.forensicsciencesimplified.org) and participates in National Forensic Science Week in August to provide online information and resources to educate the general public.

Your turn!
Have topics you’d like us to feature on Fauxrensics or the Forensic Update? Reach out to us at info@nfstc.org.

About The Communicator Awards:

CA_logo_color_transpThe Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals, sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. This year’s Communicator Awards received more than 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. Visit www.communicatorawards.com for to view the full winners list.

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