The York County Sheriff’s Office has five Deputies who are graduates of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy. There is one Academy graduate assigned to the Investigations Major Crimes Unit. The Forensic Academy graduate performs regular law enforcement or Investigator duties as well as serves in the capacity of a Forensic Technician at major crime scenes. A York County Forensic Technician is available to assist Deputies and Investigators on any crime scene 24 hours a day. The Forensic Technician routinely responds to complex crime scenes involving deaths related to un expected, un-natural, and suspicious deaths, recovery of biological fluids, fingerprints, tool marks, shoe/tire impressions, blood spatter analysis or when scenes need to be documented photographically.
York County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Technicians attended the Virginia Forensic Science Academy sponsored by the Virginia Division of Forensic Science and approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Forensic Science Academy trains ten law enforcement officers in one of two academy classes each year. The Forensic Science Academy is a ten weeks resident course conducted in Richmond, Virginia and has a waiting list of one to three years. Forensic Academy students receive training in crime scene photography, crime scene sketching, basic and advanced fingerprint processing, trace evidence (Hairs, Fibers, Glass, Paint, etc.) identification, collection and packaging, blood spatter analysis, arson/fire investigations, DNA testing, analysis and interpretation, use of the alternate light source, collection of blood and other biological fluids, collection and documentation of tool marks, sexual assault investigations and legal issues involved in crime scene searches and seizures. Forensic Academy students also receive extensive training in death investigations. Members from all disciplines of the Forensic Sciences present material and case studies so graduates have a complete knowledge and understanding of the capabilities of the Virginia Division of Forensic Science Laboratories. Academy Graduates act as liaison between their respective agencies and the Division of Forensic Science. Selection for attendance to the Virginia Forensic Science Academy involves an application, testing and interview process through the Division of Forensic Science. Prior to graduation from the Forensic Academy students must pass an extensive written examination followed by a crime scene practical exercise demonstrating knowledge and ability in all areas of study. Forensic Academy graduates attend an additional 5 days of re-training annually.
York County Sheriff's Office Forensic Technicians have received specialized training in other areas such as mass casualty incidents, recovery and evacuation of human remains, latent fingerprint classification and identification, homicide investigations, arson investigations, sexual assault investigations as well as other crime scene related courses. York County Sheriff's Office Forensic Technicians hold memberships in a number of professional organizations to stay up to date on the latest information in the field of evidence identification, collection, processing and preservation.