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Headquartered in New Jersey, Leeds LLC is a 30-person consulting and software company that that focuses on case management. Session presenter, Michael Cunningham, is a retired CSI specialist from the New York City Police Department (NYPD). At NYPD, Mike had extensive experience documenting crime scenes with Leica Geosystems laser scanners, software, and total stations. He has also recently authored the textbook, “Crime Scene Management: A Path Forward”, Routledge Press. Forensic science is changing rapidly and clearly this change is on course to effect the operations of crime laboratories and crime scene investigation units which now utilize 3D laser scanning on an increasingly frequent basis. The changes faced are a result of efforts to improve forensic science and reinforce valid scientific conclusions in a court of law. These efforts began in 2009 after the National Academy of Science issued a landmark report on forensics and were recently fast-tracked when the U.S. Attorney General agreed that all forensic service providers in the US shall become accredited by the year 2020. The presentation will look at how this relates to the continued integration of laser scanning into criminal investigations to reconstruct events and reach conclusions through measurements and analysis of point clouds. These conclusions are often relied upon by a jury when deciding whether or not to convict a defendant (sometimes in capital murder cases). Herein lie the following questions that accreditation will likely bring to the forefront and will be explored: If laser scanning is used for scientific analysis and subsequently presented as evidence in a criminal trial what are the requirements for accuracy and precision? Are all laser scanners up to the task? How should findings be stated? How can the instrument be validated? How should the scan data (aka evidence) be authenticated and archived? During the presentation attendees will be provided with answers to these questions and more. Discussion will include review of a new report on 3D scanning from the National Institute of Justice, forensic accreditation standards, and recommended best practices for HDS.
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