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Two law enforcement officers looking to further their training in the field of crime scene investigation recently completed a competitive nine-week course on how to handle forensic evidence.
Investigator Kristin Schomburg from the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office and Investigator Kathleen Swanson from the James City County Police Department were partners for much of the training in Richmond.
Schomburg and Swanson graduated April 10 from the academy, each becoming the fifth investigator in their respective departments to complete the training.
In Richmond, the two learned how to properly recognize, document, collect and preserve laboratory examination items of physical evidence found at crime scenes. They learned how to approach a crime scene, the correct way to photograph evidence and how to process, package and analyze evidence. They worked on mock crime scenes, sat in on lectures and were tested with essays and quizzes.
The two investigators were recommended for the academy — which enrolls 12 people from the state twice a year — by their respective supervisors, and had to undergo an interview process before being accepted.
“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Swanson said. She has already been processing crime scenes for two years and has been an investigator since 2009.
“It all goes back to how everybody leaves a trace, but there has to be something there,” she said, explaining she had always been fascinated with the process of crime scene investigation.
Schomburg, an investigator since 2010, said she was excited to help train the other deputies with her new knowledge and looked forward to easing the workload of the other investigators who have also completed the academy and are certified to handle forensic evidence at crime scenes.
“I look forward to sharing with others what I’ve learned and help benefit the department,” Schomburg said.