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Since the advent of CCTV (Closed Caption Television) cameras in the 1960s, the move towards changing how police record their actions have come a long way. Originally these cameras were installed in London but became more mobile and deployable into recording high crime areas to help police enforce the law and prevent crime. It was nearly 30 years later that in-car cameras were installed in police vehicles in the late 1980s. By the year 2000, car cameras or dashcams were mainstream enough to be in virtually all new police cars.
Forensic metadata is used to help prove cases, solve crimes, and assist in other investigations. Understanding the metadata concept is just a beginning to knowing how that information can be used, managed, or altered to solve a problem.
Actions to prevent law enforcement suicides, specifically, is long overdue. As first responders, they experience different types of trauma daily. This type of trauma alone should be a warning sign to executives that mandating programs to encourage mental health checks, support groups, and other curricula should be a part of the department.
There is some urgency in learning and understanding the scientific methods involved in evidence collection and forensic testing. Not only is forensics now facing public scrutiny, but labs are dealing with scandal as many wrongful convictions have been discovered based on junk science.
For anyone involved, investigators or attorneys, a basic understanding of the fingerprint collection process, how they are located and lifted, can help everyone recognize inaccurate or faulty science in the results. If there is a need to cross-examine a crime scene specialist or as a witness to answer questions, an understanding of the techniques of locating, lifting, and identifying fingerprints is essential.
There is a great deal of difference between a DNA match and a bite mark match. One test is done scientifically, is measured, and the results are factual. The other is done by human comparisons, visual referrals, ideas, and personal objectivity. Knowing how the science is collected, tested, and compared can make a great deal of difference in the measurability of the ‘truth’ behind the results.