A year ago, a safe was stolen from a residence in Cobourg and on the same day a vehicle was stolen. Unfortunately for the criminal involved, he had been in trouble before (and was on Probation) so his DNA was in the DNA Databank. Samples from both crime scenes were sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto to be processed with the result that recently 27 year old, Baltimore resident, Andrew Christian Drysdale was charged with both crimes. “Processing the crime scene” is done by a Forensics Identification Officer (FIO) – just like on the TV shows, they dust for fingerprints, take photographs, collect swabs, and maintain a secure scene. But in this case and going forward, the Forensics Identification Officer was recently trained and appointed Special Constable Vicky Darbyshire.
Previously, this work was done by a regular constable or in cooperation with the OPP. Vicky was a Detective Sergeant in England so had some experience but she completed an eight week course at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa and is now officially the FIO for Cobourg Police. Chief Kai Liu said that “It benefits us and the community to have this position in-house because we now have a quick response time during an investigation and allows us to be more efficient.”
The Police announcement of Vicky’s appointment explained some more:
So what is done with this evidence once it’s collected? Well, it’s a bit like CSI where it’s taken to a forensics lab and put through many tests and examined. Now that Cobourg Police has an internal FIO, this allows them to enhance their collaboration with other police services such as Peterborough, who have their own forensics lab. Working in partner with Peterborough Police provides S/C Darbyshire with expertise and mentorship from other FIOs within the Peterborough Police Service and saves the Cobourg Police Service over $100,000 annually in upkeep costs for such a technical lab.
We continue to build on our collaboration with Ontario Provincial Police and will defer investigations to them should our FIO not be available at the time.
Chief Kai is continuing to take advantage of tiered policing and is increasingly using Special Constables to replace sworn and higher paid regular Officers.