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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

APRIL 2013
Welcome to the April 2013 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Crime Scenes and Alternate Light Sources

Don Penven

Alternate light sources, a much needed tool for CSIs
Over many decades, visible light sources were used during most searches of crime scenes. Although some forensic investigators would occasionally use ultraviolet (UV Black Light) to examine for crime scene evidence, white light was the mainstay. But in the 1970s the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) added a new dimension to forensic examination of physical evidence.

The "Mounties" pioneered the use of argon-ion lasers, but these expensive, cumbersome, bulky machines were impractical for use at crime scenes, so their use was limited to the crime lab.

The birth of alternate light sources
Portable lasers began to appear in the marketplace in the 1980s, but their usefulness was limited to mostly a single color of light. In the 1990s the availability of high intensity incandescent lamps slowly revolutionized alternate light source analysis of physical evidence since these machines, many weighing less than 20 pounds, could provide an intense light beam that could be passed through various filters covering from visible blue, green, yellow and red light. Using these colors enhanced the ability to reveal an abundance of what would otherwise be invisible evidence. But one element is still missing.

What is fluorescence?
Merely shining a blue or other visible color light onto an object in and of itself does not show us much. You see, certain materials possess a property called fluorescence. Fluorescence occurs when light of a certain color and light frequency strikes an object, and the object returns light of a different color and frequency. This fluorescence is much weaker in intensity than the light beam that created it, so to visualize the fluorescence, the crime scene technician must use filtration that blocks the visible light but passes the fluorescence. For example: if the visible light beam is blue light, the filter must be orange in color. This blocks the intense blue light but passes the weak fluorescence. UV light, on the other hand, is invisible, but it produces visible fluorescence from certain objects and substances. No filtration is required to view UV fluorescence, but eye protection in the form of clear glass or plastic lenses is recommended.

Detecting hidden blood stains in crime scenes
If you watch many of the TV "Cop" shows, you will see at some point those working a crime scene using a blue light in search of invisible blood (blood stains that were cleaned up). Shazam! Blue-white stains appear all over the

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*Article submitted by the author

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 200 current listings!

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Forensic Imaging Specialist  |  Texas DPS, Austin
Final Filing Date: April 11, 2013
Salary: $3,408.35 - $3,640.11 per month

Performs advanced technical work in color and black and white forensic photography in the Forensic Imaging Section of the Department's Headquarters Crime Laboratory and in the field to obtain, document, and preserve photographic evidence for use in criminal investigations. Utilizes specialized photographic techniques to perform advanced forensic photography of evidence and prepares slides for training and teaching in photography schools. Participates in planning, organizing, instructing in and evaluating department photography schools. Work is performed under broad supervision. Receives specialized training in forensic photography and latent print photography.

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Police Identification Technician I/II  |  Modesto Police Department, CA
Final Filing Date: March 15, 2013
Salary: $45,630.00 - $56,836.00 Annually

Positions in the Police Identification Technician series collect, photograph, identify, process, and preserve physical evidence related to accidents and criminal investigations. They perform tests on weapons and substances (i.e., fiber, hair, tissue, bodily fluids, drugs, etc.) to determine significance to the investigations. They prepare technical logs, diagrams, and reports for documentation. They may serve as expert witnesses in court proceedings. Positions in this series are flexibly staffed and incumbents may advance from Level I to Level II at the discretion of the appointing authority and when the incumbent meets the minimum qualifications.
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Forensic Specialist I  |  Montgomery County Police, Rockville, MD
Final Filing Date: April 16, 2013
Salary: $44,900 - $74,181 per year
Employee will be responsible for work involving the detection, collection, handling, testing and preservation of crime scene physical evidence and latent prints from crime scenes. Duties include responding to crime scenes, collecting, processing and preserving physical evidence, measuring and diagramming crime scenes, photographing crime and accident scenes, writing reports concerning actions taken and maintaining accurate notes and records. Employee will be required to work rotating shifts and weekends and will be subject to on-call status.

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Crime Scene Investigator I  |  Denver Police Department, CO
Final Filing Date: April 25, 2013
Salary: $49,665.00 - $79,464.00 Annually

Identifies, collects, preserves, packages, and presents biological evidence, latent fingerprints, tire impressions, shoe impressions, tool marks, and other physical evidence; Familiarity with the general operation of a variety of shotguns, rifles, handguns, knives, and other miscellaneous weapons; Photographs/videotapes evidence at crime scenes; Performs measurements of evidence at crime scenes using a variety of manual, electronic, and computerized measuring devices; Learns how to process evidence in the laboratory using special powders, chemical solutions, forensic light sources, and various camera lenses and filters in order to develop and preserve evidence; Proficient use of general and specialized hand and power tools; Attends autopsies to photograph/videotape injuries and collect additional evidence; Writes departmental reports and supplements; Documents evidence for submission to the Property Management Bureau for storage; Maintains proper chain of custody on evidence and proper packaging to preserve and prevent contamination; Testifies in court as a witness in connection to the scenes processed and evidence recovered and preserved.

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Forensic Computer Specialist  |  Ohio Attorney General, BCI, London, OH
Final Filing Date: April 9, 2013
Salary: $22.74/hr. - $36.59 per hour

Utilizes specialized tools (e.g., evidence acquisition devices; automated floppy diskette reader) & procedures to collect, preserve & examine (e.g., prepares duplicate images backup copies; recovers deleted &/or corrupted files, password protected &/or encrypted files; recovers hidden data; traces internet & network communications) computer evidence of criminal offenses (e.g., homicides & assaults, rape, gross sexual imposition, corruption of minor, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, pandering sexually oriented matter involving minor(s) & illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, aggravated arson, burglary cases, illegal access to hospital files, wire tapping of citizens by law enforcement personnel, illegal traffic/access into military establishments, money laundering, theft & fraud & counterfeiting) in accordance with established & validated forensic principles. Develops & implements policies & procedures relating to seizure & examination of evidence from computer systems. Reviews & updates policies & procedures on regular basis in order to ensure policies support new computer technology.

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Evidence Technician II  |  Paducah Police, Kentucky
Final Filing Date: April 15, 2013
Salary: $29,700.00 - $43,100.00 per year

Oversees the daily operation of the Evidence Unit. Assisted by the Evidence Clerk, the Evidence Technician receives and logs into the computer evidence and material relating to various police investigations and cases; types related reports; answers telephone; assists with and completes chain of custody documentation; prepares for and attends court hearings.

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CSI In The News

OC Crime Fighters Unveil Mobile Forensic Lab
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board accredited an Orange County mobile crime lab to help detectives analyze electronics and evidence at crime scenes.
Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch - April 3, 2013

Director wanted for police forensic lab
Vacancies have been advertised to fill the post of director and 13 other positions in the Guyana Police Force's Forensic Science Laboratory.
Stabroek News - March 29, 2013

How accurate are shows such as 'CSI'? (Audio file)
There's a certain allure to crime scene forensics. What else could explain the immense popularity of the CSI television franchise.
KBIA - By Rehman Tungekar - March 28, 2013

OPP forensic identification lab using state-of-the-art technology
The new facility on Park Avenue beside the OPP headquarters is a multi-million dollar building equipped with state-of-the-art technology to examine evidence and solve crimes.
Chatham Daily News - By Vicki Gough - March 27, 2013

Mexican forensic expert bathes corpses to solve crimes
Mexican forensic expert Alejandro Hernandez dips dry, yellowish cadavers in a see-through bath, hoping his technique to rehydrate mummified bodies will solve murders in crime-infested Ciudad Juarez.
The Sun Daily - March 27, 2013

Law enforcement, NIST making fingerprint files easier to search
Law enforcement agencies could soon have a quicker way to compare and match fingerprints, now that a working group of local, state and federal agencies has developed a standard set of features for fingerprint identification, and...
1105 Media, Inc. - By William Jackson - March 25, 2013

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