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Forensic masterminds unveil newest tools, tricks to crack cases

Put on your detective’s cap and see what’s new from forensics company NEC and the annual international forensics conference in Atlanta.

ATLANTA – Some of the most intelligent scientists, crime scene analysts and dogged investigators merged this week during the 102nd International Forensic Educational Conference

More than a thousand police, lab and forensic physical evidence professionals gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta to learn, teach and test the newest tools, tricks and trends in solving crime. 

It’s an industry that is of utmost importance in the overall checks and balances of crime and justice.

“We’re not the voice of the prosecution, necessarily. We’re the voice of justice and we’re the voice of reason and we’re trying to present information,” Bill Schade, a member of International Association for Identification (IAI), said.

And it’s a career, he said, of continuous learning and constant change.

“[I’m] always evolving, because science is always evolving,” he said. “I like to think that even though I’m old-school, I’m also an old dog learning new tricks.”

“We’re on the cutting edge and staying current and not overstating our results—giving a fair, accurate, objective presentation of the findings.”

Schade, a biometric records manager at Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, in Largo, Fla., has more than four decades of experience, stemming from his work as a police officer, in New York, where he was a fingerprint analyst in 1971. He progressed to latent fingerprint and crime scene analysis in 1976—when nothing was digital and everything was done by hand.

But, today, while everything is at your fingertips, fingerprints aren’t enough anymore.

“We’re not saying that a partial fingerprint isn’t a positive identification, but can you really make that conclusion from that tiny, little fragmentary latent print that was left at…

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