Saturday, February 04, 2006

Improving forensic capabilities in other countries

The United States and EU governments frequently help develop the forensics capabilities of law enforcement agencies in other countries (Note: other governments elsewhere may also have similar training and grant programs, but I am drawing only upon my own direct knowledge here).

If you are interested in the international cooperation aspects of law enforcement or want to read a very descriptive article about life in a forensics lab, I can recommend a post found on INDONESIA NOW. I'll excerpt a portion of it here:
Forensics aren’t at the sharp end of police duties. Most who chose a career in crime-fighting prefer the adrenalin rush of a high-speed chase, a shoot out, a dash in the dark to nab a felon.

Laboratory work is quiet and methodical; it’s cerebral, not muscular. It means wearing rubber gloves rather than a holster, peering down microscopes, analysing chemicals, thinking deeply and cleverly to outsmart the cunning crims. It’s often boring and lonely.

But when the results gain convictions even the most heavy-fisted cop from the school of hard knocks has to pause in admiration for his tertiary-trained colleagues.

The Surabaya lab investigates cases from across East Java and much of Kalimantan, a catchment area of more than 42 million people. To handle this workload Bambang has only 40 scientists and technicians, and just a few machines.

But help is on its way. Eighteen months ago experts from the US Department of Justice visited Surabaya and reported on the lab.

They found that while Bambang was respected and his colleagues had depth of experience, knowledge and skill, much equipment was outdated.

This year the lab expects high tech replacements under a program called the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. (ICITAP)
To read.

No comments: