After attending classes and seminars over the past 18 years as a detective and 13 years as a homicide detective, the Medicolegal Death Investigation class I took at AAAF made me aware that law enforcement in this region now have an opportunity to be provided first class training at the American Academy of Applied Forensics.

The level of expertise that stood before us each day seemed to be the most vital part of the class. Often times when we attend classes like these, we are presented with instructors that do not have the vast knowledge needed for the level of experience of the detectives that attend the class and, in most cases, some of the attendees could provide a wider range of knowledge on the topic. However, at AAAF, most, if not all, of the instructors are Board Certified or even a Board Member of their fields. That in itself shows the level of dedication and commitment that the Academy’s staff have for the field of Forensic Science. I think the city of Charlotte, County of Mecklenburg as well as all law enforcement officers across the State of North Carolina should be proud to have such a facility in our area.

Detective Garry L. McFadden
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Homicide Division

I have been in law enforcement for over 20 years, with the last 10 as the supervisor of the Identification Bureau (Crime Scene Unit), and I am intimately familiar with the necessity of quality forensic training.

Since the inception of AAAF, I have sent several of my people to classes there, and have attended two myself. The instructors, especially Dr. Lili Johnson and Calvin Jackson, both exemplify what we in the field have been starving for for some time – individuals that facilitate and make readily available quality training in the area of forensic sciences, at a cost no department administrator need complain about.

I have studied under such people as Dr. Henry Lee, Pat Wertheim, Ron Smith, Dr. William Bass and others, and I can say that the instructors at AAAF are very knowledgeable in their fields and quite clear in their presentations. Obviously, Dr. Lili Johnson and Mr. Jackson have worked hard to secure true professionals representing a wide array of disciplines. The classes not only benefit the new investigator but also help the seasoned veteran.

Please keep up the good work; you have no idea how important it is to us in the field to have opportunities like this in education.

Sgt. Phillip P. Firrantello
Identification Bureau
Gastonia Police Department

Although it’s a relatively new program, [AAAF has] a solid reputation based on the resident faculty and the visiting faculty members that they bring in. They’re doing some of the more advanced training in the country [and] they have a forward-looking concept of what forensic science is about and that makes them more progressive than a lot of the more established forensic schools.

Dr. Jason Byrd, Forensic Entomologist
Instructor, Flies, Foliage and Features

The interdisciplinary nature of [AAAF] workshops allows participants to understand the role of entomology, anthropology, and botany as they pertain to forensic investigations. Additionally, conducting such workshops can allow participants to discover and record new scientific information pertinent to the forensic sciences. As an example, the new entomological information gathered during the workshop [I instruct] may have implications for body decomposition patterns and rates in North Carolina and could lead to new research ideas to further contribute to forensic science applications.

Jeffery Tomberlin, PhD., Forensic Entomologist
Instructor, Medicolegal Death Investigation

By attending this class [Computer Crimes Against Children] I was able to assist in an investigation that resulted in an arrest the last day of class. Using the software and skills taught, the necessary evidence was collected and the suspect was [arrested] one block away from campus. The training showed me an untapped resource in the Charlotte area involving dangerous [child predator] offenders.

James Almond
Vice & Narcotics
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

The AAAF/CPCC classes work. They are hands on and give experience and practice to everyone who attends them, which is especially important to a new investigator.

I attended Bloodstain Pattern Documentation class and the day after I concluded the class Forsyth County had a triple homicide and attempted murder. The class gave me the tools and practical experience to use on this scene.

As a new Crime Scene Investigator still in training, I knew very little about Bloodstain Pattern Documentation prior to that class. Jan Johnson (Board Chair, International Association of Identification] instructed my class and her sharing her expertise and experience really aided my learning in that class.

Investigator S. M. Reid
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

“…The variety of [digital evidence] classes being offered is a wonderful opportunity that all agencies should take advantage of and, in turn, will benefit from immensely.”

Officer Jim Walts
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

I just heard from [one of my investigators] who is in the Advanced Photography Course. She told me that this was going to be a great class and how excited she was to be enrolled. We are currently using a lot of digital photography and she said that she feels that she will get a great deal of information from the course.

I also have people enrolled in Footwear and Tiretrack Evidence, Medicolegal Death Investigation, and Advanced Crime Scene. I am also looking forward to enrolling in another Latent Print Development course, and a Basic Photography course.

Thanks again for everything that you all are doing for the field of forensics. We have been struggling to locate training in our field for a long time and are grateful to have finally found a place to obtain knowledge and growth.

Mary Ann Berryhill