Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Needs of Forensic Service Providers

In March 2006 the National Institute of Justice (NIJ - the research, development, and evaluation agency of the US Department of Justice) delivered Status and Needs of Forensic Service Providers: A Report to Congress to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

"It presents the recommendations of four professional organizations: (1) The National Association of Medical Examiners, (2) the American Society of Crime Lab Directors, (3) the International Association for Identification, and (4) the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
The report supports the creation of a national Forensic Science Commission to review the field’s long-term needs at all levels. It covers four areas:

  1. Manpower and equipment needs.
  2. Continuing education policies.
  3. Professionalism and accreditation standards.
  4. Collaboration among Federal, State, and local forensic science laboratories."

The material quoted was extracted from the National Institute of Justice's Publications webpage. That page includes links to material from each of the organizations presenting formal comments at the NIJ Summit on Forensic Science Services.

The February 28, 2006, Whitecaps post linked readers to The President's DNA Initiative mentioned earlier in the quoted text.


Blogger stebbijo said...

I could be wrong but I don't believe that Idaho has a 'medical examiner.' A while back legislators voted the position down. Correct me if I am wrong.

10:56 AM, April 19, 2006  
Blogger Bill McCrory said...


Idaho retains the “coroner” system in Idaho statute 31-5213. There was an effort a few years ago to require at least eight hours per year of additional training for coroners, but evidently that failed. A coroner is an elected official who need not even be a medical doctor. If Idaho were to go to a medical examiner as a replacement, it is likely that the ME would have to be first an MD with a specialty in pathology and additional training in forensic pathology. For what it’s worth, post mortem forensic medical examinations for Kootenai County are usually done by the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office at Holy Family Hospital on the north hill.

4:51 PM, April 19, 2006  
Anonymous StibitzRK said...

I have given technical "computer" consultation and/or testimony in three legal cases here in North Idaho.

In each case, I believe that I was qualified to offer testimony, and presented accurate and honest opinion.

The need for "qualified" forensic providers is IMHO obvious.

I recall an attorney once telling me that expert witnesses were refered to as, "whores of the court." The general concensus being that each attorney can hire a professional to give whatever opinion they desire.

Years ago, it would have been near impossible to falsify a photograph, as an example, today common household technology allows anyone with a computer and some graphics skills to modify movies so they should not be allowed as evidence in court.

4:27 AM, April 20, 2006  

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