WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Firearms Examiner Academy (NFEA) graduated its 2017-2018 class of 11 men and women today with apprentice/entry-level firearms and tool mark examiner skills after a year-long training program conducted by ATF’s National Laboratory Center (NLC). This newest cadre of students were trained in the fundamentals of firearms and tool mark examination, which serves as the foundation for supervised development into qualified examiners.
Members of the 18th NFEA graduating class include: Jori Farquharson, Washington State Patrol, Cheney, WA; Mallory Foran, Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Laboratory, Cleveland, OH; Scott Genove, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department, Martinez, CA; David Glatter; Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Brandi Jorgensen, Salt Lake City Police Department., Salt Lake City, UT; Emily Kearns, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, St. Paul, MN; Ashley Martin, Albuquerque Police Department, Albuquerque, NM; Lauren Rogers, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, Lockport, NY; Nicolette Roth, Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, Anchorage, AK; Kulvir, Sarai, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Reno, NV; and David Turnbow, Pennsylvania State Police, Harrisburg, PA.
The NFEA class was in session from Oct. 1, 2017 – Sept. 14, 2018. The class focused on laboratory safety protocols, as well as ethical standards and principles that govern the admissibility of expert testimony in court. Students received training in the history of black powder, the evolution of early firearms, the evolution and manufacturing of modern ammunition, and microscopy and instrumentation. Additional classes covered firearms identification, the manufacture of modern firearms, preliminary examination of firearms, bullet examination and comparison, tool mark examination, comparison and identification, and restoration of obliterated markings. Also included were terminal ballistics, gunshot residue, shot patterns, bullet path analysis and the examination and comparison of cartridges, cartridge cases, shot shells, and fired shot shells.
These graduates, after returning to their local and state law enforcement agencies, will continue their training for approximately one year at their home laboratories. Upon completion, they will be able to independently and completely examine and compare physical evidence related to firearms and tool mark identification; independently reach conclusions and render opinions relating to their examinations and comparisons; and provide expert testimony in a professional and impartial manner. The NFEA’s standardized program is supported by the Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners, nearly 60 federal, state, local, and industry partners with instruction and manufacturing tours. The NFEA has graduated 199 students from 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands since its inception in 1999. The next class is scheduled to begin in October 2018.