The Forensic Training Section offers services to the entire Criminal Justice System and in particular, to more than ten thousand law enforcement personnel throughout the Commonwealth. Each year, approximately 20 to 30 programs of varying lengths and complexity are offered, and about 600 to 700 officers are provided technical training. This training focuses on the various services offered by the Department of Forensic Science, so that the laboratory value of evidence discovered at a crime scene will be recognized and the evidence will be properly handled and submitted for analysis. In addition to the presentation of short courses, the Forensic Training Section has the responsibility to conduct the Virginia Forensic Science Academy, a nine-week school of crime scene technology. After successfully completing the course, law enforcement personnel will be able to apply the proper techniques for locating, recognizing, documenting and collecting items of physical evidence. They also will be able to preserve items of physical evidence, recognize the laboratory potential of examining physical evidence and properly package and submit physical evidence.
Each year, Academy graduates are invited to attend a three-day retraining seminar to keep them abreast of changes in the areas of forensic science and crime scene processing and technology. In addition, one-day workshops are presented to update the graduates on laboratory recommendations involving physical evidence collection and submission.