Alaska, the state of the Last Frontier, now has its first և crime scene investigator. What Made Native Alaskan Forensic Science?
Two years after graduating from the University of Fairbanks in Alaska, Shasta Pomeroy walks with local police and is allowed to watch the crime scene.
At the time, he was unsure of his future. He was studying law, but knew he did not want a career as a lawyer.
That night everything changed for him.
“I knew I wanted to be at the scene. I have never been more convinced of anything in my life. “My family was surprised, but they supported me,” he said.
Pomero graduated with a law degree, but it was a five-week study trip to Riverside University in California, about 55 miles (55 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, a flight of faith.
“Certifying a crime scene investigation was expensive, it meant traveling to the Lower 48,” he said. “I really saw if this was what I wanted.”
He learned about crime scene photography, bloodstain recognition, DNA, entomology, etc., and quickly confirmed that he had made the right choice.
“I’m not emotional, I can not explain it, but I just knew.”
Born in Oregon, he grew up in the North Pole, a small town in Alaska, about 15 miles south of Fairbanks, where he always feels like a Christmas tree with decorations of the year տանը at Santa’s house.
In 2016, Pomeroy joined the Fairbanks Police Department [FPD] as a data clerk, but he studied during his time և reading forensic books “for fun”.
He then became an evidence technician, preserving and packing evidence for further analysis by researchers, and while he was working on “labeling” bags, he completed his Masters in Justice Management. His latest project was reviewing the use of forensic science in law enforcement and how it could be applied in Alaska.
He had a purpose.
Over the next few years, he moved to the state forensic medical examination office, state crime lab, online in Las Vegas, and finally this March was named the first CSI (crime scene investigator) FPD.
“I respect, I care about the people here, I wanted to go where I needed to go,” he said.
His achievement was not limited to the city of Golden Heart, which has a population of 31,500, as his appointment means that he is the first CSI in the entire state of Alaska.
Returning from a “fantastic” week at the Death Investigation Academy in Missouri, 30-year-old Pomeroy enthusiastically recounted his journey.
“Before me, the spies and others would have specialized training, and the civil servants had a technician who attended the scenes.”
He often mentions the encouragement he received.
“It simply came to our notice then. [FPD] “It was created for me by Ron Swift, Deputy Chief of Staff Ron Dupin,” he said.
Writing reports is a constant part of his responsibilities, although he could be in the department on any random day, cleaning fingerprints, processing shoe impressions, collecting DNA samples, or being called to multiple crime scenes.
“Murders, suspicious deaths, robberies. We have a lot of thefts, sexual assaults, brutal assaults. We deal with everything. ”
Working in Alaska has additional challenges.
Privacy laws mean, for example, a greater need for search warrants, in which case there is a known cold weather.
“The coldest scene I’ve ever worked outside was -33 degrees,” says Pomeroy.
“You have to warm up your camera, batteries, then your hands before you work. If there is a fire in the car, the bullet casings will be hot when taken out of the weapon, and then frozen in the snow. He can’t take them off wearing thick gloves. “
“Sherlock’s Principles of Close Monitoring”
The “CSI effect” – the popular TV-inspired assumption that crime can be solved quickly with the help of modern technology – is well-founded, Pomero admits.
“We have a 3D, 360-degree imaging technology called Faro, on which I look forward to training և Alternative Hand Light Source (ALS), which I use to search for biological samples such as body fluids, such as semen, and saliva. A scene of harassment. “
Like all technologies, Pharaoh has some limitations, including the fact that he cannot obtain “ridiculous” evidence, such as smoke, perfume, or rays of light.
“Most of my work is on my hands and knees, using close observations of Sherlock principles,” says Pomeroy, who takes a Nikon camera with a pocket-sized LED UV camera with each call.
He has found himself on rooftops or alone in remote, wooded areas, many of which are Fairbanks. None of this dampens his passion, although he admits that despite the weather, he relies on coffee, often iced coffee.
“Human nature wants answers”
“I can only call for an hour of sleep without coffee, but it does not matter. I’m just excited about getting a job. This is really my calling. ”
Like many law enforcement officers, Pomeroy is physically active when he is out of service. He says it is “a physical-artistic means of compression to express oneself.”
“I have been a ballerina-dancer for many years, and I am a silk-rope fan. I also like to sing, I try to play the piano. ”
Pomeroy admits that he really feels pressured as the first CSI or not as the first female CSI.
Law enforcement is a male-dominated profession, but he has found nothing but support, he says, and everyone understands how useful his work can be.
CSIs are usually expected to specialize, և he is now in the field, Pomeroy is trying to get certifications in areas such as death investigations, blood spot recognition and analysis.
He assists the Office of the State Medical Investigator in Enchorj in collecting postmortem biological samples, which allow the victims’ bodies to be transferred to the family in a timely manner.
“Human nature wants answers,” he says.
“As a piece of the puzzle of solving a crime, I can help answer the victims և the community.”