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Law Enforcement Day promises to uncover the truth about crime scenes

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CANTON - SUNY Canton’s fourth annual Law Enforcement Day is reaching beyond its campus to bring in the professionals that influence television police dramas.

The program is an opportunity for students and community members to better understand the work entailed in criminal investigations.

The event, sponsored by the college’s student chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association, will bring local and nationally known criminal investigation experts Tuesday to Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Kingston Theatre.

Lecturers will be discussing the most modern tools used to solve crimes, SUNY Canton Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement Leadership and Criminal Investigations Department Chairwoman Professor Susan E. Buckley said.

“The students, hopefully, will be able to walk away with a piqued interest in these different specialties within the discipline,” Mrs. Buckley said. “We talk about blood splatter in a couple of our classes, but these are people that are still in the field doing it.”

Keynote speaker, retired New York State Police Crime Scene Senior Investigator Thomas L. Martin, will be discussing blood splatter analysis at 1 p.m. as a part of the day-long event.

Martin is also a Court TV expert guest analyst on programs such as “Trace Evidence,” “Forensic Files” and “On the Case with Paula Zahn.” He has also appeared on HBO series “Autopsy,” as well as authored several books.

“We’re going to talk about crime scene forensics in general and specifically how blood stains pertain to crime scenes,” Mr. Martin said, “and what kind of things separate them from the factual things that we do in the real world versus the fictional nonsense that we see on television.”

Blood stains fit into the grand scheme of an investigation, Mr. Martin said. He will talk about how they coincide with an investigation and how they are used to corroborate or refute information law enforcement agents are given.

“He has been just wonderful to deal with. I’m very excited about it,” Mrs. Buckley said. “So what we hope is to give the students an opportunity to delve a little bit deeper into these areas of specialty.”

Open to the public, Mrs. Buckley said the interest in the televisions that have been created based upon criminal investigation should also pique the community’s interest.

“There are some many police shows and of course the glut of police shows that we currently have is being driven by the interest of the community at-large,” Mrs. Buckley said. “So the fact that we have so many police shows indicates to me that the community could potentially be interested in something like this.

“So it brings out a lot of people,” Mrs. Buckley added. “People who have maybe a casual interest in this kind of thing take advantage of all of the different entertainment that we have at the different colleges.”

Other scheduled speakers include Associate Professor Stephanie Schuckers, Ph.D., who will discuss fingerprint recognition software at 9 a.m.; Onondaga County Medical Examiner Dr. Robert Stoppacher will discuss death investigations at 10 a.m.; and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department Forensics Document Examiner and SUNY Canton Adjunct Instructor Dwayne Wisbey will discuss document analysis at 11 a.m.

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