General Forensics Courses
All classes are not offered every semester.
This is a course designed for investigators, crime scene technicians, forensic technicians, and others practicing bloodstain pattern analysis. The course will enhance basic skills and develop advanced skills used in complex scenes. Additionally, you will be given an opportunity to practice your observation and analysis skills and see how to properly present findings in court.
Instructor: Ross Gardner
This course introduces the most current methods of shooting reconstruction. You will apply principles of trigonometry in determining angles of impact, ballistic trajectory, and muzzle-to-target distance. Using laser trajectory devices, you will learn to document photographs and reenact shooting scenes. You will learn about the methods used by firearms and tool mark examiners in the examination of large caliber-fired bullets, such as .45 caliber, and various rifle and shotshell components. In addition, various tool marks — including pry bars, screwdrivers, knives and cutting type tools — will also be studied. This course adds to the techniques used in the basic shooting reconstruction course while providing more lab and practical exercises along with a courtroom testimony portion. You will explore the reconstruction of shooting incidents, including determinations of the range, direction of fire, and the identification of gunshot residues.
Instructor: Don Mikko
This centerpiece AAAF course introduces the concepts and techniques of comprehensive crime scene processing and the science behind the scene. This hands-on workshop provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize, collect, and preserve evidence from a crime scene. You will learn all of the elements of crime scene processing, including forensic photography, investigative principles, and related legal issues, and process crime scenes and support findings in mock court. The lessons are reinforced with hands-on practice with equipment.
Instructors: Eddie Howell
This hands-on workshop is designed to familiarize the crime scene detective/technician with the basic requirements of crime scene photography. This workshop focuses on basic operation of the camera how to use digital photography, and how to use tamper proof software to protect digital images.
Instructor: Buren Foster
This course introduces the most current methods of shooting reconstruction, applying the principles of trigonometry in determining angles of impact, ballistic trajectory, and muzzle-to-target distance. Using laser trajectory devices, you will learn to document, photograph, and reenact shooting scenes.
Instructor: Don Mikko
This hands-on workshop focuses on the physical dynamics of liquid blood: the patterns created when it strikes various surfaces and the method of stain creation. Students learn the skills necessary to reconstruct a violent incident involving bloodstains and how to relate it to the participants. Students also learn to properly identify, collect and preserve blood evidence for laboratory examination.
Instructor: Ross Gardner
This two-day seminar will focus on the investigation of the death of children. You will be resented with a variety of scenarios which resulted in the death of a child. Emphasis will be placed on the differences between accidental, natural (to include SIDS), and non-accidental death involving children of all age ranges. The training class will discuss scene investigation, trauma, injuries, burns, the investigation of SIDS, and working with the medical examiner.
Instructor: Lisa Mayhew
This class will provide practical skills for detectives and crime scene investigators in the investigation of complex violent crime. The focus will be non-behavioral aspects of offenders, the evidence they leave behind, and coordination between CSI and detectives with background on behavioral aspects with different murder cases, arson, and other violent crimes. You will evaluate cold cases and cases left with only photographs to work with in reconstructing your case. This case includes lecture and hands-on exercises in a realistic mock crime scene.
Instructor: Lieutenant D.J. Barton
Death Investigation 101 is a lecture class that is designed for all law enforcement officers. New homicide detectives will benefit from this training. The course will cover accidental, natural and homicidal deaths. We will cover scene understanding and understanding the body. Tips on photography and video tapes of death scene are important. Cultural issues, victimology and fire deaths will be discussed. Suicide investigations involving hanging, shooting and overdoses will be covered in this great class. Heart attacks, respiratory distress and blunt force trauma issues are important to any investigator. The significance of evidence is covers in all types of crimes and investigators will learn new tips and new information. The course is a lecture course, free to all NC sworn officers.
Instructor: Eddie Howell
This three-day course will discuss firearm related injuries and distance determinations (both gunshot residues and shotgun pattern analysis). The course will focus on applying various scientific methods, testing protocols, reproduction and comparison of gunpowder and primer residues in order to determine the muzzle-to-garment distance.The course will also include various firearms related injuries found on bodies and other mediums. Practical exercises and presentations will be used throughout the course.
Instructor: Don Mikko
This course provides an in-depth, hands-on workshop that focuses on field investigative techniques. Emphasis is placed on collecting, preserving, and interpreting insect evidence, plant evidence, and recovery of human remains. You will learn how to manage the outdoor crime scene. This course is instructed by a uniquely qualified team that includes a forensic anthropologist, forensic botanist, and forensic entomologist.
Instructor: Melvin Bishop / Melissa Torpey
This course will provide an overview of the legal issues involved in searching and processing crime scenes. Topics covered include: warrantless entries, consent to search, the plain view doctrine, crime scene search warrants, technical issues involved in the processing of crime scenes, including; photographs, fingerprints and blood-spatter interpretation, and expert witness qualification. This material will be presented through lecture, case review, and practical exercises.
Instructor: Donald Rice
Point and Shoot and Cell Phone Photography for Patrol Officers and First Responders – FRN 7912 (8 Hours)
This photography course is intended for patrol officers, first responders and other investigators that take photographic evidence with typical point and shoot camera’s and cell phones. The class will include practical exercises specifically for point and shoot cameras and cell phone use for crimes like burglary, traffic accidents, assaults and cases with bruises and tattoos. We will cover topics like the use of flashlights, close ups, shooting through glass, low light scenes, use of timers and poor weather problems. The class will discuss evidence issues, use of personal mobile devices and the legal issues related to them. You will get to practice difficult shots that may involve macro and zoom issues and night time scenes along with vehicle or burglary evidence that will improve the officer’s ability to provide quality evidence and in some cases photographic evidence that will not be available to other investigators due to time or weather. The Forensic Academy can provide some point and shoot cameras and cell phones but you are encouraged to bring the agency device you use regularly.
Instructor: Dale Callan
Police Body Cameras – FRN 7938-20 (8 Hours)
Legal Issues: Critical Areas of Use and Officer Discretion
This new 8 hour course will assist the police officer with the use of body camera’s. Instructors will cover legal issues that officers must be familiar with along with several case studies with surprising results. Decision making is crucial and we will cover 7 incidents where officers have to decide to use the body cam or not use it. Some of the other topics covered will be the use of force, arrest and detention issues with their use. In addition this great course covers officer discretion, uploading data, digital evidence with tagging videos, officer privacy, access to recordings and police misconduct. This course is free for NC sworn officers.
Instructor: Donald Rice
This two-day course will provide practical skills for detectives and crime scene investigators in the investigation of various sex crimes. The focus will be on behavioral aspects of offenders, the evidence they leave behind and coordination between CSI and detectives through the completion of the case. The background on behavioral aspects with different sex cases, assaults, and other violent sexual related crimes will be covered. You will evaluate cold cases and cases left with only photographs to work with in reconstructing their case. This case utilizes both lecture and realistic mock crime scenes.
Instructors: Bo Barton