Plenary Session

Pre-Registration Not Required — Open to All Meeting Attendees

Crossing Boarders

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
2.25 CE Hours

Overview: Advances in technology have played a tremendous role in making many daily routines and extraordinary tasks seem ordinary. Individuals may live in one area but work in a different city, state, or even country. While crossing borders, individuals may use personal electronic devices to listen to a book, catch up on the latest news, or participate in conference calls. If using mass transit to make the commute, individuals may even prepare lectures, write publications, or simply crush candy to pass the time. Travel innovations have also made it considerably easier for individuals to attend meetings within their respective countries or at the international level.

Technological advances can be worthwhile. However, the innovations are often used for nefarious acts as well. Individuals share information across borders to support criminal enterprises; drugs are grown or manufactured in one country and transported to another; firearms purchased in one jurisdiction may be used to commit crimes in another; individuals, often exploited through the hope of a better life across international borders, lose their independence as they become victims of human trafficking; putative suspects may use available technological advances to avoid apprehension; and these are but a few of the many ways in which integrity is compromised for personal benefit or gain.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multidisciplinary organization, representing 11 sections across the forensic sciences with both American and International members. The Annual Scientific Meeting of the AAFS fosters inclusiveness across all sections, disciplines, and nationalities through collaboration, networking, and the cross-pollination of knowledge across the forensic community. It is beneficial for members of the community to convene to share in successes, to learn from failures, and to acknowledge advances in the field.

This program is designed to allow members of the forensic community to share in the knowledge gained through experience and to learn of advances on the horizon. John Fudenburg will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Clark County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office during the handling of the worst mass shooting in modern United States history. An emphasis will be placed on the interdisciplinary efforts of the different agencies involved and the various deployment areas necessary during a mass fatality incident. Specific attention will be given to the Family Assistance Center and the on-going mental health/wellness of responders.

Thomas Callaghan will provide an overview of the Federal Bureaus of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Next Generation Identification and Facial Recognition Programs, along with the FBI’s Rapid DNA expansion of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) into the booking station. Similarities, differences, and privacy concerns with finger, face, and DNA biometric modalities will be discussed. This presentation will also reveal how DNA databases, like CODIS and Facial Recognition queries of government datasets and online photo galleries, use the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) model daily to identify potential perpetrators.

Dave Reichert will share his observations on human trafficking from the perspective of a 34-year career officer who gathered intelligence as the lead investigator in the Green River Serial Killer case, ultimately bringing justice to the families of the 49 confirmed victims. This presentation will also detail the journey of an investigator to his 14 years as a United States Congressman and, finally, to his present role as an advocate for impactful global forensic policy.

The program will conclude with a shared learning opportunity for the attendees and speakers.

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