"Success through Technical Skill"

The goal of the Forensic Unit is to support the actions of the Criminal Investigation and Patrol Divisions of university's Police Department in its effort to provide a safe and secure environment for the entire James Madison University community.

Historical Overview - James Madison University has and will continue to field a professional and competent Police Department in an effort to provide the best vehicle for personal development and growth. This directly benefits the university community through the level of services provided. To that end the Office of Police and Public Safety has organized the Campus' first Forensic Unit. The Forensic Unit consists of high technology (cyber) and evidence gathering response teams. It is staffed by graduates of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy and the National White Collar Crime Center; some members are certified through the International Association for Identification. 

The members of the Forensic Unit are primarily engaged in the forensic identification, investigation and recovery of physical evidence and are equipped to respond to any incident or accident. This section is also actively engaged in the continuing education of graduating members of the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Academy as well as responding to outside agency resource requests for varying crime scene or other needs.

The members of the unit maintain a high level of excellence and technical skill applying effective and scientific practices. The sworn officers of the Forensic Unit are dedicated to cooperation throughout the local, state, federal and international law enforcement communities. Members of the unit have in the past and are available now for the team teaching of students on the practical application of forensics in investigations in the University's academic programs. They were also actively involved in a special summer session "Governor's School" program for exceptionally talented secondary school students.

Fingerprint evidence maintains its scientific validity and continues to be the primary mainstay in identification. Fingerprints are recovered from scenes were it is necessary to collect evidence. The university police are able to close cases due to the ability to link suspects and victims to crimes.

Forensic Unit Capabilities

  • Recovery of fingerprints, tool marks, forensic biology specimens and trace evidence
  • Image recovery and enhancement
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Forensic illustration
  • Information (cyber) security and recovery
  • Demonstrative evidence and analogies
  • Presumptive drug exams
  • Catastrophic incident response

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