California Criminalistics Institute / Rancho Cordova
This Academy provides the core of the training needed for typical firearms and toolmark examinations, such as determination of possible weapons in no-gun cases, evidence weapon examinations for function and safety, and bullet and cartridge-case comparisons. This program includes an introduction to the Consecutive Matching Stria model of toolmark identification and instruction in expert courtroom testimony. The Academy curriculum includes: A120 - Technical Writing for Criminalists, E101 - Firearms Safety in a Laboratory Environment, (E101 is a prerequisite for the remainder of the classes); E102 - Firearms & Toolmarks Introduction I; E103 - Firearms & Toolmarks Introduction II; E105 - Digital Imaging, Documentation, Note Taking and Reporting; E201 - Toolmark Criteria for Identification; E111 - Serial Number Restoration; E420 - Special Topics Firearms Function & Design; E425 - Firearms Factory Tours (Open to Firearms Academy Students Only), and A103 - Courtroom Presentation of Evidence.
CCI and BFS instructors and various
The curriculum includes formal courses and supervised laboratory training. Students come to CCI or go to other locations for modules of one or more classes. Between modules, students return to their home laboratories to complete assigned reading, practical exercises, and projects. Each home laboratory must assign the student an experienced examiner as a mentor to guide and evaluate student work. Competency testing is the responsibility of the home laboratory and is not included in the Academy.
Courses and activities within the Firearms Academy should provide half to two-thirds of a typical training program. Students will be expected to continue training within their laboratories before taking on casework independently. Individual laboratories will assume responsibility for final training, and competency and proficiency testing.
Applicants must be employed as Firearm and Toolmark Examiners or trainees in a government forensics laboratory with an available, experienced firearm and toolmark examiner who will serve as mentor and will be able to supervise the final stages of training.
Pre-course reading material and activity package for several of the classes.
Travel, materials fees and tuition are paid by a grant from the National Institutes of Justice, 2011 DN-BX-K565.