The study of Forensics is filled with intriguing information that leave many interested in further research. It is filled with a variation of sub-specialties that include forensic pathology, forensic toxicology, forensic odontology to name a few. “Forensic science is science applied to matters of the law.” (Gaensslen & Larsen, 2013) In other words, it is the science that is used to detect crime. In this paper, I will discuss the areas of forensics I find appealing, as well as how forensics relates to my degree and future career.
At the start of my degree, I was active duty in the United States Marine Corps. I had already completed many years of service and determined it would be beneficial to earn a degree prior to my military retirement. I put some thought into the career paths I would like to take when I am no longer in the military. I set my sites on working within the area of criminal justice. This was the starting path to my degree in Social and Criminal Justice at Ashford University.
I looked forward to the course Forensics since the start of my degree plan. It was always a topic that was fascinating to me and one I was curious to learn more about. Within the first week of class, I had a better understanding of the topic and what I would be learning throughout this course. Forensics is an integral part of the criminal justice system. Without it, many crimes would remain unsolved and criminals walking free within society.
It was interesting to learn about the many sub-specialties within forensics. Some were unknown to me while others I had heard in passing or through a television show. Reading the descriptions of each, it becomes clear that I did know about the specific areas within forensics, but did not know the specific name. For example, I always thought forensic dentistry was simply that, but learned through our textbook its correct name is Forensic Odontology. All the sub-specialties have their specific purpose but the same goal of finding answers to questions.
Within my specific career goal of working within law enforcement, forensics will become a common area of my life. Law enforcement uses forensics to help answer the difficult questions in a crime scene. It is used to help identify suspects and provide evidence in a court of law. Evidence can be the make or break of a case and the one deciding factor for a guilty or not guilty verdict.
For the past 17 years, I have been a Gunsmith in the United States Marine Corps. Firearms have been a significant part of my life for many years. This is why I find the area of Forensics firearm examination to be the most appealing. It is a sub-specialty that I can connect with my current knowledge on the topic and see a side of firearms I don’t normally get to see. It leaves me curious since I already possess a great amount of information in the making of a firearm, so I would be curious to see how well the forensics side fits in.
Forensics is the collection of evidence or clues that will help put the pieces of a puzzle together. Without forensics, many questions would remain unanswered leaving cases cold. It is a science of using various techniques to locate, preserve, or analyze information that leads to evidence. It is a fascinating topic to many and often one that is portrayed on many different television shows. I find forensics to be an important part of the criminal justice system and one that will continue to change and adapt with the changing times.