CSI's and Scientists

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

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Where I stayed
Staybridge Suites Oak Ridge

Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Robert from the National Forensic Academy picked me up bright and early in the Hummer donated by Patricia Cornwall and we drive to the Knoxville Police Department to visit the CSI Unit.

I met the Head of Unit Lieutenant Vince Ayub and one of his CSIs who were kind enough to show me around the Department.

This was great for me as I got the opportunity to see how the training from the National Forensic Academy has directly impacted on operational policing.

Vince explained to me how the unit is being remodelled and new facilities designed to improve forensics for them. He has also implimented a mentoring programme for new CSI's to ensure that they are competent to undertake scene examinations and give him the opportunity to develop individuals futher if required.

The unit has not quite moved over to digital images for everything yet, there are still concerns over this type of evidence which we discussed.

A quick lunch and then we were off to the newly built forensic laboratory. I still cant get used to the metal detectors and bag screening process in every law enforcement facility over here in the USA (not to mention in museums etc too).

Fortunately we did not need to be screened and a very impressive tour of the facilities followed. We talked about the old facilities they used to work in and the challenges this brought them. No photograhs of the lab for obvious reasons Folks but needless to say, it was another example of really good design - and yes, they too have cherry wood cabinets, black corian typed worksurfaces and matching black fume cabinets. It looks wonderful.

We talked about evidence that was submitted by CSI's and how if there are any issues that need to be addressed this is done. The laboratory staff are very goos at letting police know if their evidence collection and submission processes can be developed further and this honest and necessary feedback is good for all concerned.

Robert and I had a look at the crime scene van used by the staff there to attend scenes. Now these are fantastic great beasts as you have no doubt seen on the TV. Really impressive inside complete with TV, DVD player, fridge, toilet and bag and bags of storage both inside and on lockable units on the outside. Two canopies pull down on each side and the floodlights are detatchable. I want one!!

A quick wizz back to the Academy to pick up some things for Robert and I was dropped back at my Hotel. Thanks for today Robert, you were a star and I really got a lot out of meeting with all the contacts you introduced me to.

Tennessee is full of motivated, honest and dedicated staff involved in all aspects of forensic science in this part of the State. they have invested time and resources to ensure that there is a continuity of training and development for their people and this appears to be paying dividens for them. Well done guys, keep up the good work.
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