This organization is a not-for-profit, professional, association dedicated to the application of the Forensic Sciences in the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice communities, as well as the private sector. The Division's charter was granted in August of 1916 making us the first Division to hold a charter under the parent body (IAI).
Our membership includes professionals throughout the United States and Internationally.
This past month has brought a time of reflection from the atrocities of 9/11 to a time of great sadness as the bodies of the thirteen young service members killed in Kabul are brought home to their final resting place.
While for some, 9/11 seems a lifetime away, for some of us, it feels like yesterday. Personally, I remember the feelings of despair and helplessness as I watched the tragedy unfold on the television, as search teams worked to find those lost in the rubble of the World Trade Center, as family members with photographs of their missing relatives stood outside hoping for news of their loved ones, and how my blood boiled as I watched videos of Osama Bin Laden celebrating his "great victory." What I also recall is how the USA became united, how the American Flag was placed atop the rubble, the stories of great acts of heroism, and the way we were all just a bit nicer to our fellow Americans in the days following our darkest hour.
Five of the thirteen service members killed in the final days of the Afghanistan War were only twenty years old. Putting that into perspective, they would have been an infant, not even a year old at the time of the 9/11 attack on America. Yet, there they were, protecting fellow Americans, giving their lives so that others could make it home safely. We must NEVER forget.
For those of you that had the pleasure of attending the IAI conference in Nashville last month, you will recall the keynote speaker asking the students entering the field of Forensics to stand. I, for one, was impressed at how many students were in attendance, paying their own way, interacting with other attendees, asking questions, and contributing to the conference with enthusiasm and wonderment. I met several that I would certainly hire if the hiring decisions were up to me. As a discipline, my hope is that we all embrace these new additions to our field, share our knowledge, and offer positive guidance along the way.
I would like to thank all our members for what you do every day. We may work behind the scenes, but I still consider us first responders as we go about our duties on a daily basis. As the Nashville Chief of Police said during the opening ceremonies, many cases would not make it to court if it were not for the work that we do.
Today, as I write this message, Patriot Day is being recognized worldwide to commemorate those we lost and give thanks to the brave first responders who put their lives on the line. I want to honor our active-duty members as well as the many veterans in our midst. To do so, I am requesting that each of you send in a picture in uniform prior to the next CSDIAI publication to our editor, Michael Rostocil at CSDIAIEditor@yahoo.com. As I speak for myself and many of our members, thank you for your service to this great nation.
Best wishes and be well,
To bring persons, who are actively engaged in the profession of Identification and Scientific Investigation, into an organized body so that the profession, in all of its disciplines, may be administered and practiced in an ethical and effective manner.
To encourage the improvement of all disciplines of Forensic Identification and Investigation by fostering and supporting the need for original research, refinements of current methodology and professional training.
To promote the sharing and dissemination of information and knowledge by sponsoring training seminars, publishing papers and articles and encouraging members to openly discuss all aspects of theirs profession with their peers and others seeking knowledge and skill.
To set the highest standards of ethical, scientific and professional conduct for its members and to make those who command, manage or supervise within the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice communities aware of these standards and encourage their adoption in these communities.
To inspire in our members a professional pride and commitment to serve Law Enforcement, the Criminal Justice System and society in general by applying their knowledge and skill to the best of their abilities.
As a member of the California State Division International Association for Identification, actively engaged in forensic science, I dedicate myself to the efficient and scientific administration thereof in the interest of justice and the betterment of our communities. I will cooperate with others within the forensic sciences to promote improvement through research and to disseminate such advancement in my effort to make more effective the analysis of the expert. I will employ my technical knowledge factually to protect the ethical standards of the forensic profession in all its disciplines. I accept my responsibility of public trust and will seek and defend the truth.
The ethical and professionally responsible member shall be bound by the following:
- Endeavors to be unbiased and objective approaching all assignments with due diligence and an open mind.
- Conducts full and fair examinations in which conclusions are based on the evidence and reference material relevant to the evidence, not on irrelevant information, political pressure or other outside influences.
- Renders conclusions that are only within their area of expertise and about matters for which they have given careful consideration.
- Maintains the confidentiality of restricted information.
- Communicates truthfully with all parties about information related to their analyses.
- Reports to appropriate officials any conflicts between their ethical or professional responsibilities and applicable agency policy, law, regulation or other legal authority.
- Does not accept or participate in any case in which they have any personal interest or the appearance of such an interest.
- Shall not be compensated for utilizing knowingly biased results, conclusions or testimonies.
- Supports sound scientific techniques and practices and does not pressure a practitioner to arrive at conclusions or results that are not supported by reliable scientific data.
- Conducts oneself personally and professionally in a manner that does not violate public trust.
- Does not knowingly make, promote or tolerate false accusations of a professional or criminal nature.
- Is committed to career-long learning in the forensic disciplines in which they practice and stays abreast of advances in research, technology and techniques.
- Expresses conclusions and opinions that are based on generally accepted protocols and procedures. New and novel techniques must be validated and generally accepted by the relevant scientific community prior to implementation in case work.
- Gives utmost care to the treatment of any samples or items of potential evidentiary value to avoid tampering, adulteration, loss or unnecessary consumption.
- Uses controls and standards, including reviews and verifications appropriate to their discipline, when conducting examinations and analyses.
- Accurately represents their education, training, experience and area of expertise.
- Presents accurate and complete data in reports, testimony, publications and oral presentations.
- Does not falsify, alter reports, other records or withhold relevant information from reports for strategic or tactical litigation advantage.
- Testifies to results obtained and conclusions reached based on good scientific principles and methods. Opinions are to be stated so as to be clear in their meaning and include any qualifications and limitations.
- Does not misrepresent their affiliation with the CSDIAI.
- Does not issue any misleading or inaccurate statement that gives the appearance of representing the official position of the CSDIAI.
- Cooperates fully and willingly with any official investigation(s) by the CSDIAI.
- Reports unethical, illegal, scientifically questionable conduct or violations of this code by other practitioners in which they have personal knowledge to the appropriate legal or administrative authorities.