ATF National Firearms Examiner Academy Graduates Class of 2009–2010

ATF National Firearms Examiner Academy Graduates Class of 2009–2010

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

WASHINGTON, DC –-( The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Firearms Examiner Academy (NFEA) today graduated its class of 2009–2010 after a year-long training program.

The NFEA provides training for apprentice/entry level firearm and tool mark examiners from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The curriculum includes the fundamentals of firearm and tool mark examination and serves as the foundation for the trainees’ supervised development into qualified examiners.

The NFEA class was held from October 2009–September 2010 and included modules of instruction that dealt with laboratory protocol, safety and ethics as well as the standards that govern the admissibility of expert testimony in court. Students received training in the history of black powder; the evolution of early firearms; modern ammunition and its evolution and manufacturing; and microscopy and instrumentation. Other classes covered firearm identification; manufacturing of modern firearms; preliminary examination of firearms; bullet examination and comparison; tool mark examination, comparison and identification; and restoration of obliterated markings. Instruction included terminal ballistics; gunshot residue; shot patterns; bullet path analysis; and wound effects as well as the examination and comparison of cartridges; cartridge cases; shot shells; fired shot shells and other topics.

The members of the NFEA class of 2009-2010 are: Justin Bechaver, Utah Bureau of Forensic Services, Salt Lake City; Jennifer Delahoussaye, Acadiana Crime Laboratory, New Iberia, La; Kristen Drury, Yakima Police Department, Yakima, Wash.; Michelle Hunsinger, Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory, Rochester, N.Y.; Elizabeth King, New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans, La.; Zachary Kotas, Denver Police Department, Denver; Dawn LaPorte, Pasadena Police Regional Department Crime Laboratory, Pasadena, Texas; Megan Moore, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Pontiac, Mich.; Stephen Oster, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Grand Junction, Colo.; Lisa Seurer, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, St. Paul, Minn.; Calissa Smith, West Virginia State Police, South Charleston, W.Va.; and April Stowe, Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas.

The NFEA class of 2010-2011, which is filled, is scheduled to begin in October 2010. ATF is a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice that is dedicated to preventing violent crime. More information on ATF and its programs is available at