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More Than Just DNA

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2008
2 pages
This report describes the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) cold-case training program, which focuses on providing investigative officers with the knowledge and tools for conducting effective investigations of cold cases, including the creation of a cold-case unit.
The cold-case training offered by NIJ is free, lasts 2 to 3 days, and can accommodate approximately 100 investigators for each training session. Each agency represented at a training session can have two participants, although exceptions are allowed for very large agencies. The training program has a format similar to a symposium, in that participants often have been involved in cold-case investigations for years, so there is much sharing of information among participants about various investigative techniques they have found effective. A key theme of the training is that cold-case investigations should have strong cooperation among the law enforcement agency, the crime lab, and the prosecutor’s office. The training also emphasizes that although DNA evidence plays a major role in many cold-case investigations, it is not the only tool that cold-case units can use to work on unsolved cases. The training focuses on a comprehensive approach to the investigation of cold cases. Cold-case training is offered by NIJ twice a year, once on the East Coast and once on the West Coast.
Date Published: April 1, 2008