2013 CSDIAI Conference Topics

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2013 CSDIAI Conference Topics

Postby bficken » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:47 am

Hello Everyone,

My coworkers and I were just discussing the desire to give a presentation at the 2013 CSDIAI conference in Sacramento, since we are local to that area. However, we are all humble folks who wonder what subject we could possibly teach that people do not already know about.

I ask those of you who may attend - is there any topic you would like to hear or learn more about? Is there a workshop experience that you would enjoy? We are willing and able to put something together.
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Re: 2013 CSDIAI Conference Topics

Postby g. » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:52 pm


I think an easy presentation, that anyone of any experience and background is interested in, is a presentation that says: here is what our agency does. Here is our policy. AND when we use this policy we get results % time. When we switched to procedure B, we got results % time.

What I think should be shared are more interagency details like:
% latent recovery: porous, non-porous, what techniques are you using? Which are most effective in what type of cases?
% IDs? % Inc? % Exc?
More often IDs to Suspects? Victims/Elimination? More often prompted suspect? or AFIS hits?
How often do you have differences of opinion for examiners? How do you resolve?

Unfortunately, many agencies are very stingey about providing this info. I think it's a shame. I'd like to see some of the larger, more influential labs, SHARING this info, rather than guarding it so closely. In this way for example, I see Alice Maceo's LVMPD lab as a leader for sharing their policies and effectivness. I also was very impressed with San Diego's SD's presentation last CDIAI conference on inconclusive AFIS results. I think these presentations are easy to put together, easy data to collect, and I wish more people would publish these data. Klasseys/ATF's gun paper on latent recovery is still a staple paper years later and all they talked about was recovery of latents with one technique from guns! So simple, yet so important.

In another thread Tazman and Boyd discuss the pros and cons of reviewing the AFIS candidate list by a verifier/verifying exclusions. But while both make good points...where are the data? How much extra time was spent? How many were caught? What type of cases? How many people/man hours? How many extra cases did one lab get out (and how many more idents were made in a timely fashion, but at the sacrifice of some erroneous exclusions) and so on. The discussions would have some great value if one or the other could show the cost and benefit to the two procedures.

So my suggestion is collect some data for the next 6 months. And then share those results.
These are data ANY agency can collect and share.

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Re: 2013 CSDIAI Conference Topics

Postby bficken » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:36 am

Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply. Our lab is already running two different studies aimed at proving the usefulness of certain work we perform. One study involves how successful we are at chemically processing firearms, and the other looks at the depth of our AFIS searches and how far we should go. Both studies ask the question "Are our current methods yielding results that justify the time it takes an examiner to perform them and can we be doing things more efficiently?" It sounds as though either one of these may qualify for a good presentation topic.

Unfortunately, I am not sure we will be able to look into the back end of our studies and come up with actual better methods to use. We are allowed to track the outcome of casework we perform. But getting approved to spend time doing just research or validation studies (i.e. spending time not doing casework) is very difficult. It is considered a waste of time and money with our current backlog. It can be frustrating, since the research side of things is where my passion lies. But I can also understand their arguement.

I, too, have been following the discussion between Tazman and Boyd in the other thread. And I also agree that it would be beneficial to everyone if agencies shared their methods, research, and findings with each other more often. I would like to see our community come together as one whole unit someday, sharing ideas and operating on the same level. No longer would we have smaller labs out there trying to figure it all out on their own. And only by answering the current difficult questions of our science, and by finding newer and better methods, can we all progress and move forward in our field. But I digress...

I will take your comments and suggestions back to my unit and see what we can put together. Thank you for the ideas!

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