Friday, September 16, 2011

Visiting the Ohio BCI

I had a great time today touring the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Headquarters in London , OH.  I also learned quite a bit.  Here's a sample:

The BCI has three Divisions:  Identification, Investigations, and Laboratory.  I had a pretty good idea what the Identification and Laboratory Divisions covered but I was intrigued but Investigations.

The Investigations Division contains the following Units:
  • Crime Scene 
  • Criminal Intelligence
  • Cyber Crimes
  • Environmental Enforcement (includes hazardous waste, pollution, and OSHA)
  • Narcotics
  • Clandestine Drug Lab and Marijuana Eredication
  • Special Investigations (serial crimes, police-involved shooting, public corruption investigations, dignitary protection, etc.) 
  • Missing Persons
  • Technical Operations
 These guys would be involved in pretty much any crime I might dream up.  Got my imagination working overtime.

Did you know that their Predictive Analysis people can study five crimes (commited by the same person) and predict where number six will be?  They're doing so, and very successfully.

Other interesting facts:
  • 25% of the usable prints found at crime scenes are palm prints, not fingerprints
  • The Ohio BCI gets 100 hits per month on their CODIS (DNA) database
  • Light wave technology can be used to identify different inks on the same document (i.e. altered checks)
  • Fingerprints scanned into the computer system are assigned identification points (70-75 ave. per print).  The system uses the points when searching for matching prints.
  • It takes approximately five minutes for the system to search four to six million prints on file and yield twenty possible matches for further comparison.
  • The Trace Evidence Lab can tell if a car's headlights were on or off at the time of an accident
  • Normal turnaround time for DNA analysis is 125 days, although this number is being reduced with the addition of newer equipment and more staff.  (NOT TV CSI's <60 minutes.)
Oh, and I never realized the BCI falls under the State Attorney General's Office.  I guess it's obvious but I never made the connection.

All in all, a very interesting day.

How was yours?

Groaner of the Day:  (Lots of reading above so here's a short one.)  A farmer was milking his cow. He was just starting to get a good rhythm going when a bug flew into the barn and started circling his head. Suddenly, the bug flew into the cow's ear. The farmer didn't think much about it, until the bug squirted out into his bucket. It went in one ear and out the udder.


GigglesandGuns said...

Extreme groan, Linda.

My day wasn't as fascinating as yours for sure. I finally mowed. Whoopee!

Enjoy the weekend!

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: ...and predict where number six will be?

So this tells me if I were to commit a crime in Ohio to stop at #5--or move to Illinois.

How do you find out about such interesting day trips?

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like you had a fun and interesting day. This type of information is intriguing to me. Cute groaner.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

LD Masterson said...

Hey, mowing is good. I had an interesting day and my grass is up to my knees.

LD Masterson said...

Maria - Yup. Unless they can predict that you're moving to Illinois. Not sure how that works.

LD Masterson said...

Oops - forgot to say that my earlier comment was for Mary. But I guess you figured that out since she was the only mower.

Sorry, Mary. *waves*

LD Masterson said...

Mason - Glad you liked the groaner.

Lydia K said...


Still, it was funny.

What a fun day! Thanks for sharing your research with us!

Kay Theodoratus said...

Your day outranked mine. I just cleaned house. Now if my desk was as uncluttered at my kitchen tops...

Maryann Miller said...

Interesting how departments can vary so much. The organization and structure of this force is different from the way a city police force is set up. And it is so important to get the details right if you are setting a story in the jurisdiction of a particular law enforcement agency.

Thanks for posting the time it takes to get DNA. It is so ludicrous that they can get it in just a few minutes on some TV shows. LOL

Mike Keyton said...

Just sent that groaner to my daughter. I doubt she'll speak to me for a week :)

Karin said...

Love the groaner!

Really interesting info from your field trip. Had no idea how things were arranged there. Wonder if other states are organized differently.


Liz Fichera said...

So very CSI: Ohio! It makes it more real when you see it with your own eyes and I think it shows on the page too.

LD Masterson said...

Lydia - a good groaner always is, no matter how we try to fight it.

LD Masterson said...

Kay, if it makes you feel better, my desk AND my kitchen counter tops are a disaster.

LD Masterson said...

Maryann - Another warning never to base your research on what they do on TV.

LD Masterson said...

Mike - oh no, blame it all on me.

LD Masterson said...

Karin - I imagine things vary somewhat from state to state. Had no idea all this was going on right in our backyard.

LD Masterson said...

Liz - CSI: Ohio. I like it. Maybe we can sell that to the networks. But then they'd just get it all wrong.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

oh man, your field trip sounds like it was awesome! i bet you're just itching to write something now!