Police, crime lab personnel complete digital image enhancement course at URI College of Pharmacy

KINGSTON, R.I. — Dec. 5, 2000 — During the weeks of Oct. 16 and 23, thirty-seven police officers and two Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory staff members attended one of two, one-week workshops on digital image enhancement.

The workshops were held in the newly constructed computerized classroom in the Fogarty Health Science Building, the home of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus.

The State Crime Laboratory, the Rhode Island Criminalists Associates (RICA) and the College of Pharmacy jointly sponsored these workshops. David “Ski” Witzke of PC Professionals, Inc., Lakewood, Wash., presented the programs. At the request of Ronald DaSilva, president of the RICA, the Rhode Island Justice Commission provided $26,485 in grant funding to pay for the two workshops.

The course included instruction on the use of Windows® based computer software, specifically Adobe® Photoshop®, in order to provide the students with an understanding of forensic digital imaging concepts and how those concepts can aid in their investigative process. Each student had their own laptop computer workstation and participated in practical application exercises including images of fingerprints, surveillance subjects and video images of persons and objects which, if identifiable, could be useful in an investigation.

“It is important that law enforcement and crime laboratory personnel be familiar with the latest technology that may assist them in the analysis of forensic evidence.” said Dennis Hilliard, the director of the State Crime Laboratory. “Being able to process images in this way may provide information that would otherwise be disregarded during an investigation.”