EDISON – Twenty-one law enforcement officers from around the state will take part in an intensive, five-day course offering the latest techniques for collecting evidence from a crime scene in the event that hazardous materials were intentionally released into the environment.
The course, ‘’Advanced Forensic Investigations for Hazardous Environments,’’ will be offered by the Middlesex County Police Training Center in Edison from July 25 to 29 at Middlesex County College.
A team of faculty members from the National Center for Bio-medical Research and Training at Louisiana State University will present the course, which is designed for law enforcement officers who previously have been trained and are experienced in forensics.
The team is headed by Edward Wallace, a retired New York City police detective who participated in gathering evidence at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attack. He also works as director of forensics training at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
“As unpleasant as it is to envision the possibility of a bio-terrorist attack, it is the duty of law enforcement to be prepared for any emergency,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan said. “Being prepared is a vital aspect of deterrence.”
“Middlesex County is committed to keeping our residents safe,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, chair of the county’s Law and Public Safety Committee. “One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that our law enforcement partners have the best tools and most up-to-date training available. I applaud the Prosecutor for hosting this event and thank all those who are participating.”
Law enforcement officers from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the East Brunswick Police Department, the Woodbridge Police Department, the Division of Criminal Justice of the state Office of the Attorney General, the New Jersey State Police, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrence Police Department have signed up for the class.
The 40 hours of instruction includes the use equipment provided by LSU.
About $1 million in equipment, including protective gear, breathing apparatus and laboratory facilities, will be provided at no cost to Middlesex County or the agencies that will participate in the program, which has been financed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“Middlesex County once again sought out critical and effective training for our law enforcement personnel to enhance our ability to safeguard our residents,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano.
Goals of the program are to teach officers how to properly collect evidence of an environmental crime and provide expert testimony in the prosecution of those who commit such crimes.
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