In the last decade forensic science professionals have been part of the equation that has managed to keep Madison’s violent crime rate down at a fairly constant average. Last year approximately 3.78 people per 1000 residents were victims of violent crimes, compared with a high of 4.38 per 1000 residents in 2006.
In addition to gathering evidence to secure convictions in current cases, the Madison Police Department also recently formed a Cold Case Review Team that aims to bring a resolution to the city’s many cold case files. Recently the team successfully presented enough evidence for an arrest of a former Madison man who was charged with killing his wife in 1976.
As candidates research how to become a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist in Madison it is important an important step to examine the education requirements for these positions.
Preparing for Careers in the Madison Forensic Science Field
Crime scene investigators in Madison are specially trained police officers with years of committed service who can adeptly discover and recover evidence from the scenes of even the most brutal crimes. Among the CSI specialists assisting these officers are forensic photographers who keep digital recording devices prepped and serviced for deployment to crime scenes.
Forensic photographers work at crime scenes using cameras, video recording equipment, and special lighting to create digital evidence for presentation in court. They also work in a photo lab environment enhancing images and printing evidence exhibits. Forensic photographers must attend courses in forensic video analysis and additionally meet one of the following conditions for employment:
- Two years of experience working in the photography or video field
- An associate degree in video, photography, or digital imaging
Candidates thinking about moving up the law enforcement ranks to become a CSI officer in Madison can improve their credentials with any of the following certifications:
- Fingerprint and Latent Print Analysis
- Crime Scene Reconstruction
- Blood Splatter Pattern Analysis
- Crime Scene Investigation
Laboratory forensic science jobs in Madison are available with the police department’s Forensic Services Unit as well as the Department of Justice’s Madison Crime Laboratory. These positions require a bachelor’s degree in any of the following subject areas:
- Molecular Biology
Obtaining these education credentials can be accomplished by registering with a number of online schools offering certification and degree programs in the forensic science field, as well as at least seven colleges located in the city limits of Madison.
Cracking Cold Cases in Madison
The Madison Police Department’s decision to open a Cold Case Review Team was made after observing other law enforcement agencies in the nation make headway solving murder cases that were decades old using the latest advances in forensic technology. The cold case unit will review every unsolved case in the department’s modern history, and to assist in this endeavor the Wisconsin Department of Justice has provided the police with a $40,000 grant.
Between the Police Department’s and the DOJ’s crime labs, forensic laboratory scientists can perform the following analysis:
- Forensic Imaging
- Firearm and Toolmark
- Footwear and Tire Mark
- Chemical and Controlled Substance
- Fingerprint Identification