The forensic science field in Rockingham County is key to bringing justice to criminal perpetrators of crimes, as well as the victims. Residents are all too familiar with the recent tragic case involving a young woman who was killed by a man and his girlfriend accomplice, who then both dumped her body into the Piscataqua River, which has to the present time not been recovered.
Crime scene investigators and forensic lab scientists working on the case were able to gather enough evidence to charge the suspects with three counts of murder and witness tampering, conspiracy, and hindering prosecution, respectively.
Across the county, the following law enforcement agencies are prepared to deploy CSI professionals to crime scenes on short notice:
- Derry Police Department
- Londonderry Police Department
- Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office
- Salem Police Department
- Portsmouth Police Department
Studying for a Career in Forensic Science
Candidates interested in learning how to become a crime scene investigator or forensic laboratory scientist in Rockingham County will find several colleges in the vicinity that offer degree programs directly pertinent to forensic science careers. In addition to these, students will also find a number of online schools offering both certification courses as well as degree programs in this field.
The following are general requirements as described by Rockingham County’s law enforcement agencies:
- Evidence Technician: These technicians are responsible primarily for the proper storage of evidence and may also be asked to assist at local crime scenes. Positions require at least a high school education.
- Crime Scene Investigators: In this group there are various specializations, with the more science-oriented necessitating at least an associate degree in an appropriate field:
- Crime scene reconstruction
- Fingerprint lifting and analysis
- Trace evidence collection
The stated minimum education requirements are often not enough in these competitive CSI jobs, and candidates are therefore encouraged to pursue certifications such as:
- Crime Scene Analyst
- Crime Scene Investigator
- Forensic Photography
- Latent Print and Fingerprint
- Forensic Video
Forensic science jobs are with the State Police Crime Lab and require candidates to have at minimum a bachelor degree in any of the following sciences:
- Forensic Science
- DNA and Genetics
A Recent Murder Case in Rockingham County
Crime scene and evidence experts working with the recent case involving the murder of a University of New Hampshire student were able to assist in the prosecution of the two now-convicted perpetrators using tried and true techniques plus the latest advances in technology:
- Computer forensics specialists were able to check cell phone records to determine that text-message evidence had been erased and fabricated
- DNA recovery experts and fingerprint technicians were able to locate both suspects’ DNA and prints in the victim’s car
- CSI detectives were able to find and pursue discrepancies in the alibis offered by the perpetrators
- Serology and DNA experts were able to obtain incriminating evidence from the male suspect’s apartment