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Just Forensic Technician Vicarious Trauma

In episode eight of the Identification season, Just Science interviews Selena McKay-Davis, lead senior forensic specialist at Riverside Police Department, about job-related stress for forensic technicians and sworn peace officers.

As a forensic technician Selena McKay-Davis is confronted daily with scenes where crimes were committed, and sometimes these scenes are violent or even gruesome. The stress of the position and the daily exposure to violence can make a long term career in this occupation very difficult. While there is research surrounding the trauma that sworn peace officers experience, little is known about the trauma experienced by civilian forensic technicians. During her graduate studies, Selena McKay-Davis identified this gap in knowledge.  Listen along as she discusses her graduate thesis topic covering the similarities and differences between the trauma experienced by officers and civilian forensic technicians

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Selena McKay-Davis has fifteen years of experience as a Forensic Specialist, and currently serves as the lead Senior Forensic Specialist at a medium sized California police department. Her duties require her to assist the investigation of all manner of crime scenes (from officer line of duty deaths to burglaries) through the provision of crime scene processing services, laboratory evidence analysis, court testimony, and basic latent print identification. Additionally, she operated for two years as a Coroner Technician at the Riverside County SheriffÕs Department. She has experience teaching criminal justice, forensics and crime scene investigation related curriculum to two for-profit colleges, police department employees, and community members ranging in age from elementary school to senior citizens. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from California State University-San Bernardino and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Sciences from National University.


Additional Resources:

2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

IAI Training