You may have seen it on TV, DNA profiling, fingerprinting, even tire track reading. Shows like CSI and Law and Order give us a little peek into crime scene investigation, but real life investigation isn't quite like what we see on TV.
For the most part, crime fighting takes a lot of legwork and a lot of patience, but science and technology plays a greater role in solving crimes and building irrefutable evidence.
Crime scene investigators from across Florida and Georgia are learning about new equipment and techniques to help keep their abilities up to snuff, and this week real life investigators are congregating at the Edgewater Beach Resort on Panama City Beach for their 46th annual Educational Training Conference.
Following opening ceremonies Monday morning, trainers and trainees inspected the wares from local and national vendors of investigation equipment. Companies are displaying everything from fingerprint equipment to 3-D crime scene simulation.
Brad Brown works for Arrowhead Forensics, a company that works hand in hand with crime scene investigators.
"We have a whole line of products that help crime scene fighters do their job better."
It's an exciting and challenging job, but popular television shows like CSI, Law and Order and the like paint a different picture than what really goes on at a real life crime scene.
Even Brown admits the shows may be entertaining, but hardly accurate.
"In 60 minutes they can do a lot. No, in real life it's nothing like television. There are many different disciplines, people will specialize in different disciplines, whether it be latent print, whether it be trajectory, or DNA or chemistry, and on the show one person does everything, so no, it's not really like television."
According to John Lazretto, it's the latest technological advancements that makes crime scene investigation faster and more effective.
"That's why these exhibitors are here, that's why they help us so much, and though they're here to sell their products and display their product, if it wasn't for them, none of these crimes would be solved."
The event will continue all week with workshops, training sessions and seminars.