Category Archives: Technology

NFSTC staff member earns evidence photography certification

NFSTC Media Design Specialist, Becky Carter, has earned the Certified Evidence Photographer (CEP) designation from the Professional Photographic Certification Commission (PPCC).  The Commission currently recognizes fewer than 100 photographers in the world with the CEP credential.

This image, part of Carter’s practical assessment, shows careful placement and lighting to reveal tear details from a questioned document as well as proper use of a scale for size and proportion.

The CEP is typically earned by taking a 40 hour course of classroom instruction, passing a 3-part examination and completing and submitting a range of images and associated reports showing practical application of the necessary skills.  Evidence photography differs greatly from other photography forms in that crime scene photographs can aid scientists, investigators and members of the court in their search for the truth and must depict the subject matter in a non-subjective and highly accurate way.

NFSTC delivers elements of crime scene photography training in many of its programs, such as Essentials of Crime Scene Investigation, Medicolegal Death Investigator training and others.  Students are trained in the basics of camera operation, light management and the use of angles and scales to depict object size and eliminate distortion.  Several NFSTC scientific and design staff are pursuing the CEP designation to further enhance this capability for the organization.

More information about the CEP can be found online at http://certifiedphotographer.com/cpp-certification/get-certified/.

NFSTC wins BizTech Best Collaboration award

A joint effort from NFSTC and the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) has won the Best Collaboration award at the 2012 BizTech Innovation Summit Awards & Expo. The long-distance collaborative team was recognized for their work in developing a cutting-edge virtual reality crime scene training program, Investigator-Virtual Reality (I-VR).

The team was led by NFSTC’s technology services manager, Danny Nichols, and also included Advanced Interactive Systems, a leading gaming software development company in California. The training was developed for law enforcement and features online training accompanied by simulated crime scenes where investigators can try out their newly acquired skills in a virtual environment.

NFSTC is honored to have won and wishes to recognize the University of Tennessee LEIC for their commitment to success on the project. NFSTC would also like to acknowledge its instructional design and technology services teams for once again making the seemingly impossible a reality!

The winners were announced today during a luncheon held at the Tampa Convention Center in the heart of downtown Tampa, Florida. The aim of the BizTech Innovation Summit is to “identify and acknowledge the substantive gains Tampa Bay area businesses are making in the ways they are developing, employing and utilizing technology for their own companies and their clients.”

Which portable light source and reagent reveal the most latent prints?

A study comparing the fingermark detection capabilities of laser and light-emitting diode (LED) light sources has just been released in the technology evaluations section of NFSTC’s website. The study, which examines the performance of three lasers and an LED light source with three chemical reagents, was also published in the latest issue of IAI’s Journal of Forensic Identification.

The light sources used in the study were Coherent TracER lasers operating at 460 nm, 532 nm and 577 nm and the Rofin Polilight Flare Plus LED operating at 505 nm. The three chemical reagents investigated for their ability to enhance latent prints under these light sources were indanedione, genipin and lawsone. Which light source and reagent combination revealed the most latent prints? Download the technology evaluation report to find out.

To download other reports, visit NFSTC’s Technology Evaluations main page, or jump directly to the Biology & DNA, Chemistry and Crime Scene Investigation pages.

This study was funded by NIJ through the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence operated by NFSTC.

NFSTC a finalist for BizTech Best Collaboration award

A joint effort from NFSTC and the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) has been named a finalist for the Best Collaboration award in the upcoming 2012 BizTech Innovation Awards. NFSTC and LEIC teamed up to develop a cutting-edge virtual reality crime scene training program; the long-distance collaboration also included Advanced Interactive Systems, a leading gaming software development company in California.

The program,  Investigator-Virtual Reality (I-VR), features online training accompanied by simulated crime scenes where investigators can try out their newly acquired skills in a virtual environment. The result is investigators who are individually trained in a fraction of the time needed for traditional training – at little or no cost to their agency.

Topics covered include crime scene management, photography, latent print processing and DNA collection. To learn more and to register (law enforcement only), go to: http://leic.tennessee.edu/online/ivr.html.

Rapid Biological Screening Workshop presentations now available online

In October, the National Institute of Justice, in conjunction with the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), sponsored the Rapid Biological Screening Workshop. The event brought together a number of forensic experts to discuss methodologies for dramatically improving throughput of biological samples.

Topics included ultraviolet/visible (UV-VIS) spectrometric analysis; developmentally regulated gamma hemoglobin messenger RNA (mRNA) isoforms; rapid melt-based STR prescreening at the crime scene; multiplex single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) melting assays to quickly differentiate crime scene samples; and NetBio’s fully integrated Accelerated Nuclear DNA Equipment (ANDE) system.

Presentations and other materials for this unique workshop are now available free online through NFSTC’s Projects Portal by clicking here. In addition, a number of other workshops and presentations can be accessed through NFSTC’s online portal at http://projects.nfstc.org.