Author: Yujiemi Chisholm

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Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification

In episode one of our Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Heather McKiernan, a Research Forensic Scientist at RTI International, and Ashley Rodriguez, a Research Public Health Analyst at RTI International, to discuss the use of forensic genetic genealogy in identifying human remains. (Description taken from FTCOE website)
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The ASCLD Accreditation Initiative

The ASCLD Accreditation Initiative is a program supported by FTCOE and ASCLD to partner with domestic, publicly funded forensic service providers that are committed to pursuing accreditation. Forensic science practitioners with experience in accreditation serve as mentors to laboratories as they prepare their organizations for accreditation.
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Highlights

The City of Charlotte’s Coverdell funds help support evidence documentation that led to a U.S. Postal Worker being indicted for stealing business checks worth over $1.9 million

In 2023, the DCS5 Fingerprint Enhancement System, which was funded by the City of Charlotte’s Coverdell award, was used to document processed evidence in a case involving financial crimes and fraud. The case involved 1.9 million USD in checks that were stolen and fraudulently deposited. A single fingerprint impression developed from the evidence led to the arrest of a United States Postal Service employee.
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DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program – Demystifying Performance Measures

Originally appearing in the Forensics TTA Program’s 1st Annual Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Forensics Programs Grantees Meeting hosted on October 2-3, 2023, this Program Specific Workshop Session features members of the BJA team providing information to DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program grantees regarding performance measures. During this session, BJA provides a background on why the CEBR Program has performance measures, why supporting documentation is needed, why performance measures change over time, and what peformance measures are used for. BJA also provides examples of supporting documentation for performance measures, additional resources, and contact information for CEBR grantees needing assistance.
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The State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Fellows Make large impact at agency and contribute to the expansion of the profession

Through the support of their Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program grant, the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has graduated three Forensic Pathology Fellows over the past two years. These fellows completed over 700 autopsies, participated in and published research projects, presented at the National Association of Medical Examiners Annual Meeting, and took an active role in teaching over 150 visiting Pathology Residents and medical students with hands-on autopsies and lectures on topics in Forensic Pathology, contributing to the expansion of the profession. Over the past year, their most recent Fellow graduate completed over 225 autopsies on a wide variety of causes and manners of death, including 34 homicides; assisted in the investigation of 23 scenes; and testified in two trials.
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Highlights

Idaho State Police Forensic Services uses Coverdell funding to develop a statewide Question Documents Program and maintain Breath Alcohol Section accreditation

The Idaho State Police Forensic Services is using Coverdell funding to ramp up a statewide Question Documents Program. This Program will also service laboratories throughout the country to help address the decreasing availability of Question Documents examination. The Idaho State Police Forensic Service also employed a Coverdell–funded employee to conduct the majority of their breath alcohol calibrations to assist in maintaining accreditation of their Breath Alcohol Section. After obtaining this accreditation, they are able to calibrate every instrument in Idaho on an annual basis.