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News | May 23, 2024

Army CID Crime Lab Forensic Examiners Visit Atlanta-Area Science Classes

By Jeff Herold, Program Manager, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory

Eight U.S. Army forensic examiners recently visited local schools in Atlanta to serve as ambassadors from the science community for “Imagining the Future Day,” organized by the nonprofit group, Science ATL.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL) in Forest Park, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, is the only full-service forensic laboratory providing criminal investigative forensic support to the entire Department of Defense.  USACIL, part of the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division offers more than 20 forensic science services ranging from DNA testing to latent print and trace analysis evidence testing.

The school visits by USACIL scientists were held across Atlanta on March 7, 2024, by Science ATL to help build an equitable community of lifelong learners connected through the wonder of science.

As part of this initiative, the eight USACIL forensic examiners, (Jennifer Alford, Melissa Chila, Christine Clark, Stephen Gicale, Lee Johnson, Monica Kupsco, Henry Maynard, and Harrison Redd) visited four local elementary, middle, and high schools. Their presentations provided an overview of forensic science disciplines at USACIL, a day in the life of a forensic scientist, information on typical education and training, and the benefits and challenges of forensic science careers.

The examiners set up mock court cases with examples of handwriting analysis, footwear comparison, latent print comparison, and ink examination. Students were able to view and handle mock evidence, small, laboratory equipment, and even dust their own fingerprints on paper.
The presentations were well received. “It was amazing,” said one student. “My class doesn’t really get engaged, so I was super excited to see such interaction,” explained a science teacher.

The examiners also found the experience rewarding. Pattern Evidence Division Chief Christine Clark said, “This was a great opportunity to interact with schools in our community and inspire a love of science with K-12 students.”