Enhancing Forensic Science Education for Law Enforcement Personnel




Anderson, Sydney

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As crime escalates throughout the United States, it is important that law enforcement personnel are aware of, and educated, in the vast array of forensic science disciplines that can, in many cases, aid in the identification of suspects. This research project aims to identify and examine the needs of the law enforcement community regarding forensic science education, with the goal of constructing easily accessible training programs and information repositories. Questionnaires to assess current knowledge and training, and to identify areas of need and improvement, were recently formulated and disseminated to law enforcement agencies across the United States. Forty-eight responses were received from officers/agents in 20 states. Thirty-eight respondents were invited to participate in focus groups, with 8 opting to participate in a final survey instead. An additional 23 individuals were excluded due to missing response fields or incorrect self-identification as a member of the law enforcement community. The survey focused on assessing the needs for future trainings as identified and articulated by Law Enforcement Personnel. Focus groups were conducted following the initial survey to learn in greater detail what training topics are the most valuable. Five focus group sessions were held with 2-4 attendants per session; each session lasted approximately one hour long. Exploratory methodology was employed in the focus groups conduct and design to gather information regarding the favored method of training, desired tools, and information dissemination techniques. Following the focus groups a final survey was distributed to the law enforcement community. 161 responses were received from officers/agents nationwide. 85 respondents answered all survey questions provided, 17 respondents answered some survey questions provided and 59 respondents answered zero questions. Training programs are planned in the near future with the goal of creating accessible educational training online, and/or in person, to all individuals involved in law enforcement.



Law Enforcement, Training, Forensic Science