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CSI techs take the stand in courtroom training program

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A group of young crime scene investigation technicians went through courtroom training at the St. Joseph County courthouse.

Nine CSI techs from all over the area took the witness stand Monday, where state prosecutors and defense attorneys cross examined them for about 30 minutes. The training coordinator said this will make them stronger on the stand.

“Their job is to know their reports, know their photographs, know the evidence, and the processes they’ve used so they can explain it to the jury and put it in laymen’s terms,” said South Bend Officer Paul Daley.

The training is part of a test the officers took six months ago where training coordinators used a mock crime scene that allowed the group to investigate gun ballistics, blood evidence, footwear impressions and conduct a search warrant.

Ofc. Daley said the officers go through the training in order to teach them to stay cool under pressure from both jurors and court attorneys.

“If a juror saw a new crime scene investigator who seemed unsure, didn’t really come across as competent, wasn’t prepared, people understand that so that may throw doubt in the mind of a juror,” said Daley.

He said the prosecution and defense attorneys will try to trip up the technicians with questions and its important to just know what they’re testifying on thoroughly.

OfficerJeremy Saide, with the South Bend Police Department, said he enjoyed the training because of all the feedback he got. He said the critiques he received on Monday doesn’t happen often after testifying at real trials.

“It’s good to hear all those critiques coming from all the different experience and jobs of all the people that gave me critiques,” said Ofc. Saide. “I think for me it’s just being more confident, being less nervous, and just answering the questions they asked.”

According to Daley, this is the only training program in the area and it is completely free for all agencies involved.

He said courtroom training for the CSI technicians happen every other year, so they next one will be in 2019.

 

 

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