TSU Is Right On Target
It doesn't sound like CSI, TV-style. But, it's still criminal justice, if for no other reason than some real-life crime scenes involve IRS issues. For example, a drug deal, whether or not it goes bad,
and whether or not it involves the classic TV-like scene of dead bodies and blood, queues the IRS into the picture because all income, legal or illegal, is taxable. Hence, the IRS does its own investigation in a crime like this
to determine who is running the "business," who works for it, and who owes taxes on the drug sale's income, as well as how much is owed.
"So, in some ways it's like TV," Adolph says. "And, it's exciting. My job changes constantly. The security that we use in processing and investigating something is just like a crime scene. For example, one of my jobs is to issue search warrants, which
means security has to be just like a crime scene, so nothing is disturbed."
In this arena, the professors at TSU, including adjunct professor Frank Jagoda, a 29-year Indiana State Police (ISP) veteran with 20 years of experience as a crime scene technician, gave Adolph exactly what he needed to qualify for the job he does now.
"TSU professors provide real-world classes, from real-world backgrounds," Adolph says. "It's one thing to be able to teach, but it's another to teach from experience and, to me, that's what's important. So, my time at TSU not only gave me the education,
but the experience."
When Jagoda came to TSU, he brought with him every note and photograph he'd ever taken in the cases he worked for the ISP. This material now is the base of his CSI I and II classes.
"I'm one of the original CSI investigators in the ISP," Jagoda says. "When I started we worked with a fingerprint kit and a 35 mm camera-I tell my students I'm a dinosaur in CSI."
However, he's no dinosaur when it comes to expertise in crime scene investigations. Rather, he's a founding father of CSI protocol.
"Originally, when I started working crime scenes with the State Police, we had some real mess-ups," Jagoda says. "So, a couple of us got together and drew up a protocol on processing crime scenes, and then began teaching others what we'd learned."
When the O.J. Simpson and Jon Benet Ramsey cases came along, with their botched security around the crime scenes and contaminated evidence, the need for technical training in crime scene investigations became a herald call
for law enforcement agencies-and strengthened the importance of what Jagoda and his partners already were teaching.
In his classes at TSU, Jagoda is a self-described, hard-nosed disciplinarian who doesn't tolerate tardiness or absences, and who doesn't allow cell phones, pagers, or hats in class. And then, when the class begins, the students get hard-hitting subject matter from the start-and
the photos Jagoda once took as an investigator, with all the TV-like images that people think of when they hear the words "crime scene," become the class.
"I teach crime scene processing, and the students learn the importance of security at a scene," Jagoda says. "I teach them to take one step at a time, sit back, talk it over, and work things out, always following the right procedures to secure the investigation."
With a been-there, done-that background, Jagoda imparts his knowledge of crime scene dos and don'ts so well upon his students that several times in a regional or national competition they actually have found that they knew more about proper procedures than the people setting up the test crime scene.
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