Game Changing Technology:

3D Firearm Analysis

Examining bullets and cartridge cases from crime scenes can help link crimes, moving investigators one step closer to identifying a suspect. Firearm forensic analysis can also link recovered evidence to a seized firearm, based on the impression pattern that the gun leaves on the cartridge case or bullet during firing.

In recent years, forensic laboratories have become interested in applying more advanced imaging techniques. These permit the digital capture of an accurate 3D representation of the topography of the surface being examined. This yields more reliable, reproducible images for examiners and points the way toward establishing an objective, quantifiable foundation for forensic firearm analysis.
Learn more about 3D Firearm Analysis
Advancing 3D Virtual Microscopy for Firearm Forensics

“High-resolution 3D surface topographies coupled with advanced software analysis are providing firearm examiners unprecedented new tools for microsurface examination.” -Dr. Ryan Lilien, Chief Scientific Officer, Cadre Forensics

Read more about 3D Virtual Microscopy in this report!
A Close Look at 3D Microscopy for Firearms Identification

The field of firearms identification is undergoing a major change in technology and capability with the introduction of optical topography into forensic laboratory practice. Optical topography provides a three-dimensional view of the surface of a bullet or cartridge case at resolutions that capture the full range of subclass and individual characteristics. Learn more about the capabilities of 3D Microscopy in this archived webinar!
Diversity and Inclusion in Forensics

Brittney Bryant
Senior Accreditation Officer in the 
American Association for Laboratory Accreditation
Chemistry (B.S.), Forensic Science (M.S.)
Can you tell us a little bit about your career path in forensics? How did you end up in the role that you currently occupy? 

In 2015, I started working at the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) in Accreditation Services. A year later, an opportunity arose for me to work with the Forensic Examination Accreditation Program. As a Senior Accreditation Officer, I assist forensic organizations in achieving and maintaining accreditation while also serving as the appointed staff contact for forensic organizations, committees, and industry groups.
In your experience, how have diversity and inclusion played a part in your occupation? 

I participate in different quality assurance groups, both within and outside of A2LA. Each group has its varying level of diversity and promotes inclusivity by requesting input from all those involved. These experiences allow me to improve my role as a Senior Accreditation Officer because I am constantly learning from the perspectives, skills, and ideas of others. I apply this knowledge when assisting organizations with their accreditation-related needs. I can learn so much when in a diverse and inclusive environment and at the end of the day, the more I learn, the more valuable I am to my customers.
Can you talk about a time in the workplace where you noticed the benefit of diversity in a situation? Or where the situation would have benefited from more diverse thinking?  

Last year, I was in a leadership program with four other staff members and one of our activities was to observe the strategic planning meeting held by the A2LA Executive Team. During the meeting, the Executive Team asked for our input on certain topics as we were considered the “boots on the ground.” The responses we provided were based on our experiences and/or knowledge and were taken into consideration by the Executive Team. Within a short period of time, my fellow staff members and I observed specific improvements within the A2LA organization and we felt our feedback played a role in that.
Have your lived experiences shaped your approach to inclusivity in the field in any way?   

As a former basketball player, I played on teams with people having different skill sets. For example, one teammate could be a great shooter, but not a good defensive player while another could be a great defensive player, but a poor shooter. Despite these differences, each team member was equally valued and that allowed us to be a successful team. This experience taught me regardless of a teammate’s skill set, they had strengths that contributed to the overall success of the team. I believe the field can use a similar approach. Everyone may not have the same level of knowledge and expertise, but each person’s strengths can be leveraged to achieve and sustain an effective quality assurance program.
Are there any stories you would like to share of a time you directly saw the benefit of diversity or inclusion in forensics? 

Last year, the DC Department of Forensic Sciences held an outreach event to highlight common misconceptions in forensics and to clarify what can and cannot be done. There were plenty of engaging activities including a panel discussion. It was a great event and informative for attendees who were either unfamiliar with forensics, had a false sense of understanding, or just wanted to learn more. It was amazing to see the diversity among attendees at the event. For example, there were forensic practitioners, lawyers, middle and high school students, and people of non-forensic backgrounds. This level of diversity is beneficial in forensics because anyone can be a potential juror and outreach events such as this one help ensure people are informed of what can be expected from real-world forensics.

Just 3D Optical Topography


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