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Latest tech in use at CSI academy

‘Investigations are much more systematic and scientific than I had seen on dramas and films.’

Aug 07,2015
Prof. Park Sang-sun from the Korean Police Investigation Academy analyzes fingerprints using a forensic light source for crime scene examination to get more accurate fingerprints. Identifying the crime scene is called “a beginning and an end” of crime scene investigation. BY PARK SANG-MOON
ASAN, South Chungcheong - Crime scene investigation (CSI) is called “a beginning and an end” of forensic science. As criminals get smarter day by day, the difficulties of arresting them and the importance of CSI are increasing. The Korea JoongAng Daily recently visited the center of CSI education at the Korean Police Investigation Academy in Asan, South Chungcheong.

At that time, CSI education was in progress at the academy for lawyers specially employed as the police. In spite of the endless scorching heat, these trainees were eager to learn. Examination using scientific equipment was followed by theoretical and practical lectures about scanning fingerprint and tracing evidence at crime scenes.

“Since culprits always leave their footprints at the crime scene, you should look for the footprints in order to arrest the criminal,” Shin Kang-il, a police inspector and professor of the academy told the trainees. “The areas where the footprints are left are also the areas where the criminal’s touches reached. You should question yourself about why the culprit entered the crime scene, what he or she searched for and where the criminal touched. After asking such questions, you should take the fingerprints from the spots where he or she touched.”

Trainees collect fingerprints in a laboratory for fingerprint identification at the academy. BY PARK SANG-MOON
Emphasizing the importance of figuring out the criminal’s path of movement, the professor continued his lecture.

“You should then investigate what kind of shoes the criminal wore,” he said. “Soles of shoes are in various shapes like circles or a star shapes. Crime scene investigators therefore regularly drop by shoe stores and factories in order to collect samples of diverse soles and accumulate this information. I will give a demonstration of footprint sampling methods.”

As the theoretical lecture on crime scene investigation ended, soon the practical training began with the lights turned off. In the darkness, light from fingerprint and footprint scanning was the only light seen, glowing like the gleam of fireflies. Students who easily succeeded in fingerprint scanning shouted with joy, while the others who did not seemed to concentrate more on trying again.

The lecture on fingerprint scanning lasted for three hours.

Trainee Sim Jun-ho, 40, who participated in training as a second specially employed lawyer said, “By participating in the training, I realized that forensic scientific investigations are much more systematic and scientific than I had seen on dramas and films. As a law major, I feel gratitude for such excellent facilities and effort of human resources in such crime scenes.”

Sim, who repeatedly expressed his satisfaction with the CSI trainings, added, “If such legal knowledge that I have is combined with the learning from CSI trainings, I am sure that this will contribute to the improvement of the investigation capacity of Korean police. Since dead men tell no tales, I think that the police are more or less responsible for proving a dead person’s innocence.”

In a laboratory at the academy, Prof. Park Sang-sun speaks about methods of searching for traces of a suspect. BY PARK SANG-MOON
The professor and police inspector Park Sang-sun, 57, who leads the forensic scientific investigation at the Korean Police Investigation Academy, explained, “If we miss crucial evidence from a crime scene, the crime case cannot help remaining unsolved. Therefore, it is not too much to say that crime scene examination is the most significant stage of CSI. This academy, accordingly, is doing its best to offer certain trainings that support the on-scene personnel to launch in-depth investigation.”

Prof. Shin Kang-il gives a lesson to the academy trainees. BY PARK SANG-MOON
Park additionally highlighted the importance of forensic entomology, which estimates the time of death by observing carrion insects around a dead body. He added that “since the middle of last July, carrion insects, which gather around decomposing animal bodies, have been collected, and the process of decomposition has been studied. As experiments on decomposition will continue according to season and conditions, experiment results will be fully used as a means of calculating the time of death.”

BY PARK SANG-MOON [moonpark@joonang.co.kr]



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