SketchCop Solutions is pleased to announce our upcoming, 2-day, hands-on training course – Creating Digital Composite Images for Law Enforcement, scheduled for October 23 & 24, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Attendees will learn how to develop interview strategies, testify in court as an expert witness, create high-quality facial composites using SketchCop FACETTE software and much,…
On March 3, 2014, NBC news reporter Erik Ortiz published an online news article titled: ‘Dying Art?’: Forensic Artists Face a Digital Future. The article highlights the struggle between traditional forensic artists and software programs that create composite images. This subject is one that law enforcement has long struggled with. That’s because for years, a shortage of trained forensic artists forced them to use software programs that left them unsatisfied. But, in the absence of a well-trained forensic artist, it was all they had.
Today that’s changed.
Constable Jake Friesen is a Forensic Identification Officer with the Peterborough – Lakefield Community Police in Ontario, Canada. When he is not collecting evidence at crime scenes, Jake serves as the department’s Forensic Artist. Jake is a successful and talented artist who spearheaded the department’s purchase of SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System Software.
Occasionally, a debate erupts among Forensic Artists about whether or not to use photo references during a composite interview. While there are many good points to be made on either side of the argument, my position has always been to use the method that works best for your eyewitness.
A majority of Forensic Artists have been trained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Years ago the F.B.I. adopted a method for cataloging facial features pioneered by French criminologist Alfonse Bertillion. This led to them to develop an interview method that combines the cognitive interview with the use of photo references. They published the F.B.I Facial Identification Catalog as a resource tool that’s supplied to students who attend their Facial Composite Course. Others who teach their own courses have borrowed the F.B.I.’s method for creating facial composites, making it a standard practice among Forensic Artists.
Over the years I’ve learned that most jobs are made easier by having the right tools. This is equally important in the computing world when you are trying to find the proper peripheral to help maximize your software experience.
When it comes to using SketchCop FACETTE software; I’ve found that a graphics tablet, with pen, is the perfect pointing device. I know from experience that many end users rarely give a graphics tablet serious consideration. Many believe that a graphics tablet was designed strictly for drawing. Most users have grown so accustomed to the standard computer mouse, they’ve probably never considered using anything else!
With your help, SketchCop Solutions made it to Round 2 of Intuit’s Small Business Big Game. We’ve cleared most of the field but now it’s time to vote again. One of our most popular products, SketchCop FACETTE, helps police catch criminals while empowering victims to get in the fight against crime! We are competing against 10,000…
There’s less than one month to go until our 2-day, hands on facial composite imaging course. Creating Digital Composite Images for Law Enforcement will be held in Las Vegas, NV on October 10 & 11, 2013. Limited seating is still available. For more information visit www.SketchCop.com. The course features our SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System…
This is a reminder that users of SketchCop FACETTE are now eligible to upgrade their software to Version 8.6. Our software is now interoperable with Adobe Photoshop, making our software law enforcement’s leading computerized composite sketch software. This is a great opportunity for our users. The ability to make refinements in this industry leading software makes SketchCop FACETTE the number one facial composite imaging software for law enforcement. Or if you prefer, you can use the tools that we provide within the SketchCop FACETTE program.
Also, don’t forget about our upcoming two-day, hands-on seminar in Las Vegas, NV August 29-30, 2013. You can go to the Training section of our website for more information or to register. This is the only opportunity for users of facial composite computer software to receive personal tutelage from one of the country’s most experienced police composite sketch artists. Even though we teach users how to use our SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System Software, users of other software titles can learn how to interview an eyewitness, testify in court and better yet, evaluate the software first-hand to make an informed decision about whether they should make SketchCop FACETTE their preferred software choice when creating facial composite images.
SketchCop® FACETTE® Face Design System reached a milestone last week with the release of Version 8.6. Law enforcement’s #1 digital composite imaging software is now interoperable with Adobe® Photoshop® making SketchCop® FACETTE® arguably the strongest, most versatile facial imaging software on the market.
For years many companies have touted the benefits of their own facial composite software products. With a dearth of qualified Forensic Artists, law enforcement was left with little choice than to use them. Often the results were less than impressive, allowing many in the Forensic Art community to question the software’s effectiveness while trumpeting their own skills.
With the latest release of SketchCop® FACETTE®, law enforcement has a more valuable option, one that will allow them to create high-quality digital composite images that rival those produced by many sketch artists.
The concept of composite assembly systems is nothing new. SketchCop FACETTE just made it better. The first manual composite assembly system, Smith & Wesson’s Identi-Kit debuted in the mid 1950’s. Since then, others have been busy trying to create better systems using computer software. None of them have quite caught on with law enforcement officers who continually bemoan the poor image quality and lack of product support and training. None of that mattered though. Because like them or not, police must choose something when left with nothing but an eyewitness account. I knew from being a police officer myself that if investigators thought a kid with a crayon could help, they would have put him or her to work.
I believe composite assembly systems fell short was because few, if any, companies first consulted with a forensic artist before taking their product to market. The failure of these composite assembly systems left forensic artists feeling pretty confident that technology would never rival or surpass their work. I on the other hand always believed a solution was out there and I was determined to find it.
Since the day I began training as a forensic artist, I had one eye on technology. I soon figured out that it was only a matter of time before software caught up with artists. Early in my career I worked as a paid consultant for many companies trying to help them improve their software. I even used their software on real cases. While I had some success, the results were still less than satisfying. It wasn’t long before I came to the conclusion that the technology would best be driven and developed by a forensic artist.
During my journey to create a better system I was thankful to have met and trained under three veteran forensic artists who shaped my view of the discipline and influenced me to push the envelope. I will be forever grateful to them for embracing technology during a time when the field was first developing and trying to establish its place among other long-recognized forensic disciplines. Their entrepreneurial spirit remains with me to this day.