General Forensics Courses

All classes are not offered every semester. 

Advanced Bloodstain Pattern Analysis – FRN 7816 (40 Hours)

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

Advanced Shooting Reconstruction – FRN 7821 (40 Hours)

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

Basic Crime Scene Academy – FRN 7815 (40 Hours)

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

Basic Crime Scene Photography – FRN 7920 (24 Hours)

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

Basic Fingerprint Comparison - FRN 7812 (40 Hours)

This five-day workshop provides the basic skills needed to effectively compare and identify recovered fingerprints with file fingerprints. You will be presented with a variety of poor quality, partial prints, and rolled fingerprints for comparison with known fingerprint impressions and use minutiae to make positive identifications.

Basic Shooting Reconstruction – FRN 7818 (40 Hours)

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

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis – FRN 7813 (40 Hours)

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

Child Death Investigation – FRN 7928 (16 Hours)

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

Criminal Profiling and Processing Homicide Cases – FRN 7936 (24 Hours)

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

Criminal Profiling for the Violent Crime Scene:  Understanding the Behavior Aspects of Violent Crime – FRN 7933 (40 hours)

This unique course will provide practical skills for detectives and crime scene investigators in the investigation of complex violent crime. The focus of the instruction will be on the behavioral aspects of offenders, the evidence they leave behind and coordination between CSI and detectives through the completion of the case, and background on behavioral aspects with different murder cases, sexual assaults, arson, and other violent crimes. You will evaluate cold cases and cases left with only photographs to work with in reconstructing your case. This intensive course will provide both classroom lectures and realistic mock crime scenes that are real-world applicable to both detectives and crime scene investigators.

Instructors: Bo Barton

Death Investigation 101 – FRN 7913 (40 Hours)

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

Documentation of Bloodstain Evidence – FRN 7917

This three-day course will benefit crime scene investigators, detectives and anyone involved with law enforcement that investigates crime scenes involving bloodstain patterns. This course will help in identifying, documenting and collecting all the evidence at a scene, where blood evidence is present, to assist them in reconstructing the incident. The students will learn how to use the tools necessary to determine the blood’s trajectory and possible location of the suspect and/or victim at the time of the incident. Students will also learn to examine the bloodstain evidence to determine the types of events that occurred during the incident. The students will incorporate the lessons learned during the classroom in hands-on scenarios that will enhance the learning process.

Instructor: Terry Brandon / Miquel Santiago – Southeastern Investigative Group

Firearms Injuries and Distance Determination – FRN 7843 (24 Hours)

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

Flies, Foliage and Features – FRN 7826 (24 Hours)

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

Footwear and Tire Tracks – FRN 7801 (16 Hours)

This two-day workshop provides the student with information regarding the value and use of track evidence and how it can link an individual to a crime scene. You will learn how to recognize, collect, and preserve track evidence for comparative examinations. This course is designed for experienced investigators as well as new police officers and first responders. This course will provide fundamental knowledge needed to locate, document, collect, and preserve impressions from a crime scene. By participating in the hands-on components, you will create, document, recover footwear, tire tracks, and tool mark evidence. You are encouraged to bring a flashlight.

Instructor: Heather Burkard

Forensics for Patrol Officers – FRN 7911 (8 Hours)

The first responding officer often makes or breaks a crime scene. This course is designed specifically for patrol officers who need to know some basic forensics to not only protect an important crime scene but understand the legal issues on crime scene searches and basics on burglary investigations and car break-ins. Experienced patrol officers and investigators will also benefit from this training. You will fingerprint different surfaces, learn what surfaces to swab for DNA, what areas will have the best evidence, along with some basic photography tips and the documentation of scene processing. Mistakes and contamination, digital evidence exposure and basic crime scene skills.

Instructor: Eddie Howell

Introduction to Fingerprint Classification and Comparison – FRN 7931 (40 Hours)

This class will teach the fundamentals of fingerprint pattern interpretation and how this information is used to accurately classify, search and file and criminal record. The Henry Classification System remains the backbone of law enforcement record identification. This training is vital for any individual who wishes to pursue a career in police criminal identification. Course work includes arch, loop, and whorl pattern recognition and classification. You will be able to classify a given set of inked fingerprint impressions and identify the inked impressions against a known standard.

Introduction to Fire Investigation – FRN 7810 (40 Hours)

This five-day course will provide a practical approach to basic fire investigation, covering fire behavior, building construction, the scientific method, origin and cause determination, interviewing, and legal aspects of the fire scene. You will participate in the investigation of an actual room and contents fire; document the scene, photographs, and collection of evidence; and provide a written report. Instructors will focus on investigating fire scenes with a team concept.

Investigation of Wounds and Pattern Injuries – FRN 7912 (24 Hours)

This training is designed for both experienced fetectives and Investigators, new police officers and first responders. The class introduces the study of investigation, interpreting and processing wounds and pattern injuries. Classroom instruction will be lecture style with presentations and 16 hours of practical exercises in an indoor and outdoor field environment. This hands-on training makes this a unique course. You will train with a variety of forensic dummies and other medium and learn about the collection and identification of evidence along with unique case histories that will reinforce what is needed to improve on the investigation and what may be missed in making a good criminal case. You will be provided a Wounds and Pattern Injury workbook.

Instructor: Terry Brandon / Miquel Santiago – Southeastern Investigative Group

Latent Palm Print Comparison – FRN 7845 (40 Hours)

This course combines both lecture and latent palm print exercises. The ACE-V methodology of comparing and identifying latent prints is discussed as it relates to the scientific method. The latent palm print exercises in this course will provide real life case work type experience. You should have attended a basic latent fingerprint comparison course first. Palm print points of direction, areas, and zones are covered in this class. Major and minor flexion creases along with palm print topography and its use in comparisons are discussed. Palm print orientation and palm print search clues in latent print comparisons are also covered.

Legal Issues of Crime Scene Searches – FRN 7822 (16 Hours)

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

Post-Blast Crime Scene and Tool Mark Identification – FRN 7852-01 (32 Hours)

This course will introduce students to methods used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel and forensic firearm/tool mark examiners in regards to processing a crime scene involving an explosive. This four day course consists of class room instruction on explosive devices and tool mark related evidence as well as numerous hand on practical exercises. One half day will be spent at the bomb range where students will have to gather evidence after an explosion and identify tool markings related to the case. This class was created after the Boston Marathon Bombing to help police departments quickly identify and gather evidence which may help to identify an offender.

Instructors: Don Mikko

Post Processing of Evidentiary Images – FRN 7918 (16 Hours)

This course provides a hands-on approach to enhancing your crime scene photography skills. You will use digital cameras to photograph physical evidence in a mock crime scene; secure the images using unique software; and develop laboratory and courtroom quality images using enhancement techniques from Photoshop software. Photoshop skills such as dodging, burning, and stitching of multiple images are covered. Investigators and CSIs will be able to improve their courtroom expertise with this course.

Instructor: Buren Foster

Profiling Sex Crimes – FRN 7935 (16 Hours)

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

Additional Courses Offered Online