Fellow David Sweet of District 1 recently lectured on Dental Forensics in Hyderabad, India. Fellow Sweet was invited by the Indian Police Service to give a course at the National Police Academy. Here is his account of this course.
During my role at INTERPOL in Lyon, France (2005-2011) as Chief DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) Scientific Officer, I came to know several top police officers from around the world as part of the INTERPOL Standing Committee on DVI. One of these officers, Graham Sunderland QPM, later retired from UK policing and took a teaching role at Charles Sturt University in Australia within the Graduate School of Policing and Security. Graham and another retired UK police officer from the New Scotland Yard, John Dines, won a contract several years ago to provide training for mid-career police officers in the Indian Police Service.
Graham and John called on their network of colleagues in various disciplines to create and teach a curriculum on contract for the Indian Police Service. Along with them, Derek Forest OBE, another retired UK police colleague from INTERPOL DVI, was also involved in the core planning team. The course includes lectures and practical training on topics including counterterrorism, cyber crime, mass fatality incident management, decision making and communication for leaders, investigative interviewing, responsive policing initiatives, strategic risk assessments, public order management, strategic command, etc. I was invited to teach the advanced forensic science aspect of the 6-week course, which takes place at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad, India. I’ve done this in February and November each year since 2015. Each audience comprises approximately 80 police officers that are at the Superintendent or Inspector rank. Many of these officers have Masters and doctoral degrees and some command squads of up to 5000 police officers.
Anecdotally, I find there is a large amount of interest expressed by each class I have taught in learning about methods and potential uses of forensic evidence, as well as what can be done, how are the methods being used in various other countries, and what are my predictions about what the future of forensic science might look like. I am quite thrilled to be a part of this initiative that comes from the Indian Police Service to provide high-level training for its officers through Charles Sturt University. It shows foresight and a dedication to incorporating current international methods within a traditional policing model. Immediate change will not be possible, but it is predicted that the graduates from this program and from other similar initiatives will make a positive impact in the future.