VAZIANI MILITARY BASE, Georgia (AFNS) —
Two Office of Special Investigations special agents, experts in forensic science, recently participated in a crime scene exchange with the Georgian Military Police during a two-day event filled with hands-on exercises.
Special Agents Emily Leggett and Michael Buckley, forensic science consultants assigned to the 4th Field Investigations Squadron in Vogelweh Cantonment, Germany, interacted with more than 50 Georgian MPs and members from the U.S. Embassy Force Protection Detachment in Georgia.
“The exchange allowed participants an opportunity to share critical skills and knowledge with one another and increase their ability to successfully process and document crime scenes,” said Special Agent Mark Ryan, FPD, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Leggett and Buckley started the event by discussing the basic elements of crime scenes, from processing techniques to documentation standards and then moved on to specific team roles while processing a crime scene and the importance of documentation through photographs, sketches and notes.
“[The exchange] was an all-around fantastic event and a great opportunity to show the growing partnership between FPD and our Georgian counterparts,” Ryan said.
The exchange covered the importance of entry control logs, identifying and collecting items with potential evidentiary value, evidence preservation and collection, crime scene roles, using a photographer and sketching a crime scene.
“Participation in the exchange program with American counterparts was very interesting and beneficial for both parties,” said Giorgi Zakariadze, Military Police Regional Main Dept. of Operative Monitoring senior inspector. “It was a good sample of sharing professional knowledge and experience and at the same time building the new professional cooperation between both parties.”
U.S.-Georgian joint exercises continue to play an important role in the region with bi-annual events such as Noble Partner and Agile Spirit taking center stage.
“Exercises like Noble Partner continue to demonstrate that the U.S. and its partners are stronger together and highlight the U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region,” Ryan said.
The crime scene exchange included small group exercises, with Georgian MPs mixing with AFOSI forensic science consultants to evaluate mock crime scenes.
During evaluations, each group walked through how they would process the crime scene, what resources they would use, and where the FPD or Defense Department might be needed. As a result, the organizations exchanged a great deal of information about crime scenes and learned from one another about different methods used when responding to a crime scene.
“The FPD’s principal mission is to detect and warn of threats to DoD-sponsored personnel and resources in transit in Georgia, and the partnership between the Georgian MP and FPD has been vital to ensuring mission success,” Ryan said. “The Georgian MPs’ professionalism and expertise have been demonstrated time and time again.”
The hands-on mock crime scenes encouraged interaction and feedback on information previously discussed.
“The mock crime scene scenarios helped participants practice their skills identifying and collecting evidence,” Ryan said. “This exchange cultivates an understanding of how each law enforcement agency examines and works through crime scenes and will protect U.S. service members as they continue to participate in Noble Partner and Agile Spirit”
OSI FSCs completed two similar Crime Scene Exchanges in 2022, with teams from Kenya and Turkey. Looking ahead to 2023, OSI officials hope to continue to strengthen partnerships within the 4th FIS area of responsibility, which includes Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
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