When I began my career as a police sketch artist, there was only a handful of people doing the job. Even then, few were full-time. Most of us were beat cops or detectives. We enjoyed being cops, but we also enjoyed using our drawing skills to help catch more bad guys.
Armed with nothing more than a pencil, pad of paper and an eraser, we went to work. At the time, that is all we had. It was low-tech, but it worked out pretty well. As a result of our efforts, many dangerous criminals were identified and sent to jail.
Fast forward to today and forensic artists have an array of software tools at their fingertips. The traditional pencil, paper and eraser combination has been supplemented by electronic tablets, input devices and art-centric software. This has not only made our jobs faster and easier, but it also opened up other opportunities to enhance our skills.
I was an easy convert. For years I have been working with Adobe® Photoshop® digital imaging software and using Wacom Technologies’ pen/tablet as my favored input device. (My first tablet was a small Wacom Graphire.)
As technology continues to advance, so does the field of forensic art. With software like our SketchCop® FACETTE Face Design System software, paired with Adobe® Photoshop®, Wacom Technologies and Corel, we are opening the field to non-artist who have the desire to create faces and help their communities.
Armed with the right tools and training, another category of identification specialist will soon be added to the mix – the Facial Identification Technician. Having trained technicians at the ready will ensure that law enforcement has the right tools to identify more criminals.
SketchCop Solutions continues to lead the field of forensic facial imaging by providing relevant training and solutions for law enforcement and academics. Please check back with us as we continue to look at some of these new tools and announce upcoming training opportunities.