Video: Forensic Industry Blossoms

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The fascination for tracing fingerprints and finding D-N-A is enticing to some.

Now, the forensic industry is continuing to see significant growth.

With TV shows like C-S-I, right here on WCBI, more people want to know how the science works.

“Simply because we employ science, evidence is unbiased, it just tells the truth, there’s no way to sway it one way or another, and when you look at it just as fact, I think for that reason amongst many other reasons, you’re seeing forensic labs kind of pop up at a lot of places,” Columbus Police Department’s Crime Lab Director Austin Shepherd said.

Austin Shepherd said processing clues found at a crime scene helps the investigation.

“The community kind of demands more above the bar action by law enforcement agencies, they want facts, they want unbiased facts, they want solutions that they can understand, and I think that the crime lab is kind of a tool in the police department belt to do that,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd has been in the forensics industry for 15 years, and said he isn’t surprised the continues to blossom.

“You know just the popularity of forensic sciences in TV shows, you’re seeing, I know in academics, a bloom in forensics sciences, now there are dozens maybe even hundreds of forensic programs throughout the U.S,” he said.

The forensics industry is becoming so popular universities more programs are opening on university campuses across the country.

In Mississippi, Southern Miss and Ole Miss both have programs.

Now, MSU wants to create its own forensics studies program.

“We teach intro to forensic sciences, advanced forensic sciences, and there’s also the forensic entomology class that we teach in the department,” MSU biochemistry professor Florencia Meyer said.

The Columbus Police Department donated a Super Glue Fume Chamber to MSU.

The chamber Chamber helps investigators collect fingerprints.

Now, thanks to the donation, MSU students will see how the machine works in the classroom.

“For my intro class we will probably like, see how it operates and see it in action, but for the advanced class I’m planning to do a full activity where students will do it all on their own and find finger prints and use the material for a project,” Meyer said.

MSU hopes to have the fingerprint machine working on campus in the next two weeks.

Columbus police Department also has two openings in the crime lab.

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