KNOXVILLE — The popular TV show, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” may be in reruns, but the University of Tennessee’s National Forensic Academy features two new components with its 18th class that convened Monday.
The NFA — an intensive, 10-week, in-residence training program where a select group of law enforcement officials learn about evidence identification, collection and preservation — is welcoming its first international student during this session.
Also, for the first time, the NFA is offering the public a glimpse into real CSI training. Some of the 18 NFA participants will write journals about what they are learning, and some of their entries will be posted weekly on the NFA’s Web site, http://www.nfa.tennessee.edu/.
More than 200 CSIs from 43 states and the District of Columbia have graduated from the academy since its formation in 2001.
Johann Eyvindsson, part of the Icelandic Police in Kopavogur, Iceland, will be among the 18 law enforcement officers enrolled in this session. The other 17 participants hail from eight different states — New Jersey, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The NFA began considering accepting international participants last year.
Like most CSIs with an interest in the program, Eyvindsson — who contacted the NFA after learning about the program from an American colleague who had attended — has waited for about a year for an available slot. Unlike U.S. participants, Eyvindsson will pay the full cost of the 10-week program. For U.S. participants, primary funding of the program is provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.
The NFA is a program of the Law Enforcement Innovation Center, which is part of UT’s Institute for Public Service. Three NFA sessions are held each year in Knoxville, and class size is limited so each student has ample opportunity to research and practice the techniques demonstrated throughout the session.
About 60 percent of training involves hands-on field exercises. Participants watch vehicles explode and burn, study actual human remains, and analyze bloodstain patterns at mock crime scenes. As they process these scenes, NFA students can try new techniques, such as a new chemical to process fingerprints, before using them in an actual investigation.
NFA participants also spend a week at UT’s Body Farm, where UT’s anthropological experts teach CSIs to document post-mortem changes to human remains and practice burial discovery, recovery and mapping.
NFA Session 18 Roster
• Anthony Borgognoni, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Hackensack, N.J.
• Tim Buss, Bowling Green (Ky.) Police Department
• George Chaix, Gulfport (Miss.) Police Department
• Stacy Davenport, Louisville (Ky.) Police Department
• Jeff Duncan, Columbia (Tenn.) Police Department
• Charlotte Eachus, Louisville (Ky.) Police Department
• Johann Eyvindsson, Icelandic Police, Kopavogur, Iceland
• Jay Foster, Texas Rangers, Childress, Texas
• Stephanie Glover, Douglasville (Ga.) Police Department
• David Hullum, Texas Rangers, Eastland, Texas
• Colin Maher, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Hackensack, N.J.
• Rebecca Robbins, Bowling Green (Ky.) Police Department
• Ricky Sanders, Morristown (Tenn.) Police Department
• Kevin Sellers, Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, Camilla, Ga.
• Jackie Smithson, Broken Arrow (Okla.) Police Department
• Beth Thompson, Versailles (Ky.) Police Department
• Bryan Wallace, Germantown (Tenn.) Police Department
• Shawna Yonts, Texarkana (Ark.) Police Department
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