WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spent the day in the Crime Lab to see how the new skill set is strengthening the department.
In the demanding world of New Orleans law enforcement, the ability to process crime scenes is crucial.
It’s why more and more district officers are getting forensic training.
Officers like Kimera Woods are learning how to collect evidence, and process it for fingerprints.
It’s a tedious process that’s not always easy.
“But these district officers are now aware of what advantages they have when processing different scenes for fingerprints as well as the disadvantages,” said officer Troy Dickerson with the Forensic Unit.
Dickerson says training district fingerprint officers began with the leadership of Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
The plan charges trained officers to process minor crimes, like burglaries and thefts; while Crime Lab technicians are left to process more complex scenes, like homicides.
It’s a plan that saves time.
“They can call a district unit, which could be right around the corner, but will be in the district; whereas a crime lab unit could be anywhere in the city,” Forensic Examiner Theodore Koelling explained.
There are 17-newly trained officers who will now return to eight districts throughout the city.
Admittedly, their new skills will help make the department stronger and more efficient.
“It makes the officer better, and it makes the officer a well-rounded officer when it comes to understanding the whole crime scene,” Dickerson said.
District fingerprint training classes are held quarterly.