IABPA Conference 2010 – Atlantic City, USA

I attended the 2010 IABPA conference in Atlantic City, USA last week. I was fortunate enough to have been invited to give workshops on HemoSpat at the conference. Thanks to Jeff Scozzafava [Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey, USA] and his team for organizing it and for inviting me to give workshops. Special thanks to Kevin Parmelee [Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey, USA] and Anthony Mangione [Hamilton Police Division, New Jersey, USA] for their help setting up and tearing down the workshop.

I think the workshops went fairly well and I enjoyed the interaction with the attendees. Thanks to Brian Allen [Ontario Police College, Canada] who sat in on one of them and helped out answering questions, fostering discussion, and providing some one-on-one tutoring for the other participants. My favourite quote from the workshops: “I’ve never used a computer this long without swearing!”

The most interesting talks for me this time were the double murder case presented by DeWayne Morris of the Illinois State Police, the research presented by Victoria Richards of Cedar Crest College entitled An Investigation of the Effects of Different Laundering Treatments On Commonly Used Fabrics In Regards to Bloodstain Pattern Formation and Analysis, and the two presentations by Mark Reynolds of the Western Australia Police on (1) bloodstain formation and (2) the Australian fabrics course and how different fabrics effect bloodstains.

A lot of case presentations at these conferences are the same one-way dump of information: this is a photo of X, this is what the suspect said, this is what I concluded, etc.. What made DeWayne’s interesting was the way he engaged the audience, challenging them with questions. At best it was a two way exchange with the audience and at worse it was one-and-a-half: he made everyone think. In my opinion, this is a much more useful and effective way to approach this kind of presentation.

It wasn’t all work of course – the conference was held in a gargantuan casino. Some people gambled. Some won. Some lost. And unfortunately on Thursday evening Karaoke with “Sarge” was on the books for some. Land Down Under and Bohemian Rhapsody will never be the same…

Next up: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA in 2011 and Nantes, France in 2012 – see you there!

Andy Maloney
Lead Developer, HemoSpat