Letter from the President
To my fellow members of the division: greetings. To those visiting and new to the MO IAI: welcome.
We have already started working on the 2017 Educational Conference and have big plans to make it one of the most outstanding conferences yet. We are bringing back traditional aspects by featuring a keynote speaker to start the conference off and set the theme for all the workshops and lectures. We are branching out by offering even more for field investigators while maintaining our dedication to education for lab personnel. Also, last year we introduced a photography contest which we are going to continue, making it bigger and better.
While we have many plans already set, I want to know what you the members would like in your conference. The board has always done our best to determine how to meet your needs and expectations, but this time I am going to inquire directly. I will be sending out a survey requesting feedback on the 2016 conference (focusing on what worked and what could be improved), and soliciting ideas of what you would want in future conferences. I have always believed these conferences exist to serve the members. This is your opportunity to tell us how.
In addition to working on the 2017 conference, the board is looking forward to the future conferences for our organization. The board has been seriously considering moving the educational conference from the fall to spring time. Many of you heard this discussion at the last business meeting and have an appreciation of how big of a task it is. To tackle this prospect, we have a committee that is both reviewing the best time and future location for the conference. More on that will come in the MoIAI newsletters. However, if you have suggestions or ideas, please contact one of the committee members, who are also on the board of directors: Jessica Mayhew (1st VP), Alan Mitchell (2nd VP) and Dale Perry (Chairman).
As with all presidents, I have specific goals that I will focus on achieving during my presidency. The theme of my goals is growth. These goals are similar to what I had the previous year when I took over the position of President; however I did not have sufficient time to fully meet those goals. So, with that in mind, my 2016-2017 goals are to:
- Increase awareness of the Missouri IAI organization and Educational Conference to the relevant departments and organizations within the state of Missouri. While I had some success reaching out, I would like to see a great deal more communication in this area.
- Further invest in the Educational Conference by providing what the membership wants and needs for furthering their professional growth. I feel this can be accomplished through additional instructors, more vendors and offering a greater variety of topics to attendees. This is a priority to me because the greater our numbers, the more we can offer our members and attendees. It is a positive cycle that can have such a great return on investment.
- Lastly, I want to increase our membership and member activity. There are numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the state and ALL of them deal in forensics to some degree. As lab personnel are all too familiar with, those with little training and understanding in the identification process make their jobs extremely difficult. Reaching out to these agencies and having at least one representative join our organization can go a long way in professionalizing our field as a whole.
As I have said before, our membership is diverse and made up of lab technicians, field investigators and commissioned officers and deputies. However, we all have the same common goal of scientifically investigating evidence to solve crimes. The future of identification and the field of forensics is becoming very strict, requiring a high degree of education and training. The best way to embrace and prepare for that future is working together to share our knowledge with each other and reaching out to those who need it.
President, Missouri Division of the
International Association for Identification