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Comprehensive Training: Tennessee's Forensic Science Academy

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 49 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2001 Pages: 49-52
Don Green
Date Published
November 2001
4 pages
Tennessee’s Forensic Science Academy began classes in September 2001 and provides a 10-week course that involves 400 hours of course work.
The Knoxville Police Department collaborated with the University of Tennessee’s (UT) Law Enforcement Innovation Center, UT’s Anthropology Department, UT’s College of Law, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to plan the academy. The academy received funding from the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs. The initial curriculum consists of 180 hours of classroom instruction paired with 220 hours of field practicum. Attendees will receive 10 hours of testing at the conclusion of the coursework. The first week consists of an introduction, the issuance of equipment, a review of communication techniques and bloodborne pathogens, an overview of crime scene management, the preparation of different types of evidence, and crime scene sketches and documentation. Subsequent weeks’ topics include photography in evidence collection, impression evidence, fingerprinting, forensic anthropology, time of death termination, drug recognition and toxicology, questioned or forged documents, firearm and toolmark identification, hit-and-run evidence collection, auto theft investigations, investigations of crime scenes involving child fatalities, collecting electronic crime scene evidence, arson investigations, bombs, booby traps, and threats. The final week tests the attendees’ learning through the use of a mock crime scene. The academy plans to conduct four classes each year. Cost is currently $7,500 for each attendee; the academy offers 12 scholarships each year. Photographs