The first batch of cops being trained at Kalina. Pic Courtesy/FSL, Kalina
The first batch of cops being trained at Kalina. Pic Courtesy/FSL, Kalina

In the next few months, there will be 100 cops across police stations in the state who can double up as crime scene experts. The cops, handpicked from among thousands, are being specially trained on how to collect and preserve crucial material that will help nail culprits, instead of waiting for forensic experts to arrive on the scene.

The concept is the brainchild of SP Yadav, state director general of police (legal and technical), who wants the state police to understand and learn to expertly preserve crime scenes, which in turn will improve conviction rates.

KV Kulkarni, director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina, said, "We have selected only those policemen who are graduates or post graduates in science (biology/physics/chemistry). They are divided into four batches for the 20-day residential training."
Yadav said, "The cops will be trained in handling crime scene evidence, which is crucial. During the three-week course, the group will also get firsthand work experience at the Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina."

"The training for the first batch started on June 28 and will end on July 17. This batch of 25 policemen is being trained on how to use 18 different types of kits that are part of mobile forensic vehicles. Forty-five of these vehicles were recently given to police units across the state for faster mobilisation and quick collection of crime scene evidence," Kulkarni said.

When asked about the nature of training, he said, "We are training them in collection of blood and semen (useful in case of drunk driving and sexual assault cases), ballistic training, to collect carbon residue and search for bullet remains from the scene of the crime where firearms have been used, collection of fingerprints (useful in case of theft/robbery/dacoity), explosives detection and collection of evidence. Most of the kits, other than detection of meat (cow/buffalo), are available in the forensic van. We are training them in meat detection, too."

A senior forensic scientist said, "An amount of Rs 60 lakh has already been sanctioned by the state for this training programme."

Another forensic expert said, "Usually, when a crime occurs, the local police are the first to reach the spot and collect everything they think is important. But, they mostly do not know how to preserve the evidence properly, hampering the prosecution's case in a big way."

Another reason for the training is that at present the state FSL doesn't have manpower to operate the 45 mobile forensic support units.

Apart from in-house experts from biology, chemistry, ballistic, fingerprints division, the FSL has also invited many guest lecturers, who are either from the police force or forensic experts, including postmortem experts.

Dr Shailesh Mohite, professor and head of the forensic department, welcomed the move, saying, "Training the policemen will help in preservation of the crime scene, as they are the first to reach the spot. Correctly gathering and preserving crucial evidence, will only help prove the case in court."

Rs 60 lakh Cost of the training programme
25 No. of cops in each batch