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Area College Adds CSI Certificate for Fall Semester

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates there will be more than a 25 percent increase in job availability for crime scene investigators by 2024. (Steve Buissinne/Pixabay)
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates there will be more than a 25 percent increase in job availability for crime scene investigators by 2024. (Steve Buissinne/Pixabay)
August 15, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa – The field of crime scene investigations is growing both in terms of size and complexity. With that in mind, Des Moines Area Community College is offering a CSI certificate this fall for the first time.

Criminal Justice Professor Danielle Galien says it's the only lab-based CSI program in the region.

"A lot of the programs here in Iowa are sociology-based. So, you're studying more about why people commit crimes and not how to properly document them or looking at the nuts and bolts of what made up a crime and how it was committed and where to look for fingerprints," she says.

Galien says a student will be able to obtain a CSI certificate from the college with about one year's worth of hands-on course work. Fall class offerings in the program include CSI Photography and CSI One. Classes start at DMACC on August 24.

Galien says the field is ever-changing. There's a lot of focus these days on how to get evidence off of mobile devices. She says phones have really become mini-computers that hold a wealth of information that can be useful in investigations.

"It really tells us a lot about a person, what their intent and their thought process is, and can place them in areas and they might not even know it or think that they've deleted all that information and it never truly goes away," she explains.

Galien says crime scene investigators are in demand in both public and private organizations and businesses. She says starting salaries for crime scene investigators in a metropolitan area like Des Moines are about $50,000 a year. Openings are still available in the fall semester classes.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - IA