All change and a minor panic

Trip Start Aug 08, 2009
Trip End Aug 30, 2009

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Today I made my way to the National Institute of Justice. As ever, trying to be prepared, I printed out a walking route using the postcode given and made my way down towards the White House (as indicated by the route finder.

Imagine my concern when I asked Officers in that area where the NIJ was and they replied..err... well I know there is a fountain in that area.

Plan B then. I looked at the address and decided to use that instead of the map. I was over the other side of the city and had half an hour to get there.

I arrived with 10 minutes to spare but very hot and sweaty due to it reaching almost 100 degrees today. I phoned up to Chuck and got his answerphone. Agghh!

The Security there would not let me up without Chuck coming down. Fortunately thay gave me the internal directory and I searched for names of people who shared the same office. Success.

Chuck then came down full of apologies as he had to reschedule our meeting because he was busy. So I am off to see him and another colleague on Thursday now. He did give me a huge bundle of printouts of presentations that detail the spending of the NIJ and where their finances are being spent.

A huge proportion of their money is used in the advancement of DNA profiling etc. What was of interest is a study that was proposed and is awaiting funding in relation to Crime Scene Investigation Techniques and what appearsd to be focused around pratitioners. Now that should be an interesting conversation on Thursday to see if the NIJ are going to award funding for that project. I saw the closing date was last month so there should have been some progress on that score.

Anyway, to entertain you and demonstrate the 'CSI' effect, I have attached some photographs of the CSI interactive display at the Crime and Punishment Museum where they also record Americas Most Wanted which too, has it's very own Crime Lab to demonstrate CSI techniques!

Anyway, our meeting hs been rescheduled for Thursday instead now. I am so glad I listened to the Trusts advice and built in some free time. A buffer zone is definately a good idea.

Needless to say I was at a bit of a loose end so decided to go to Police HQ and try and track down Grant Greewalt who I am seeing tomorrow. I go into the building and through their x-ray machines, have my bag x-rayed and searched and made my way to an officer who was stading in the tallest booth I have ever seen. Perhaps this is so you cant reach them if they don't help you (as I found out).

I finally got though the differences in accents to tell him I was trying to locate Grant and about 10 telephone calls later (and comments about 'well I think thats who she is asking for, it must be her accent') the Officer comes back to me and tells me they don't have a Grant working there and sorry but they cant help me any further.

I had been trying to get hold of Grant for a while but no success on emails. Finally got a reply on email about 6.30pm with a mobile number to phone. Panic over.

We had a great chat and he is coming over with one of the Crime Scene vehicles to collect me at 10.00am tomorrow morning and show me around their facilities.

He is also responsible for procurement and training and has already told me that he has some new equipment that he would like to show me. I am very curious as to what this might be. Definately charging the camera batteries tonight!

He also has some good contacts with the Secret Service and the FBI and, dependant on thweir commitments, we may be able to arrange something there too. What a fantastically helpful guy!

Useful lesson here prospective Fellows, always get a mobile phone number for your visits as you can not always guarantee that you will be able to get hold of people on their work phones and secondly, build a buffer zone into your travel plans as recommended by the Trust.

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