Police and Medical Personnel Upgrade Forensic Standards

SKNIS Photo: Major Coleman and Sergeant Anita Seamans enjoyed interacting with police and medical personnel in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 05, 2012 (SKNIS): Law enforcers in St. Kitts and Nevis were equipped with advanced techniques in forensic gathering, collection and transmission and have been certified to international crime scene standards after five days of training.

Twenty-one police officers completed the November 26 to 30 course held at the Police Training School under the directorship of Major Coleman, the Regional Legal Advisor for the Caribbean in the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training.

As a guest on this week’s edition of SKNIS Perspectives, Mr. Coleman revealed that “Rule of Law” personnel in the Federation namely the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution and the Commissioner of Police, requested assistance for the session under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). He outlined some of the topics covered.

“They learnt how to photograph evidence, they learnt how to collect evidence of different types, how to package it, how to preserve it and how to put it in a useable manner [to be admissible] in court so that it can be presented and discussed by the jury in their deliberation,” Mr. Coleman disclosed.

Sergeant Investigator Anita Seamans of the City of Live Oak Police Department in Texas, USA shared 30 years of policing experiences and 20 years of facilitating as the workshop leader. She expressed satisfaction with the participants.

“The reception here was wonderful,” she said. “It was so nice to have students that were so eager to learn and so open to new ideas and so excited to take what they learnt and to get out and to use it in the performance of their duties. It was great, wonderful.”

Constable Detective Trevéron Richards described the course as”successful” noting that it was “extremely informative and educational.” Some points that resonated with the criminal investigator was the need to expand the crime scene as wide as possible to gather enough evidence and the length of time that a crime scene is held secured.

During the workshop, a special session was held at Windsor University, which incorporated hospital administrators, doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). They explored their role in the identification and collection of forensic evidence. One hundred and fifty-eight persons attended that session and gave rave reviews with suggestions that it be replicated, expanded to two days and be included in the curriculum for medical students.

Sergeant Seamans was moved by the level of participation.

“I have never seen this many medical and law enforcement personnel come together,” the Texas investigator and former combat EMT exclaimed. “I’ve never participated in anything like this before in my career.”

She added that the medical personnel embraced the training and appreciated the new point of view. “Patient care is always first but they now have an idea of what to look for to assist the police at that same time,” Sergeant Seamans disclosed.

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