The Independent Commision of Investigations (INDECOM) recieved a Leeds LCF Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscope to assist in the investigation of shootings in Jamaica. Over the course of the next three years, the UK Department of International Development (DFID) is providing £1.5 million in funding to INDECOM to help expand their forensic laboratory and further the development of security, justice and accountability.
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, Howard Drake, British high commissioner to Jamaica, unveiled the new equipment to Terrence Williams, commissioner of INDECOM. The new microscope and opening of the laboratory are important stepping stones to develop the INDECOM.
“This will increase our ability to close cases in a timely manner. This, to an extent, will assist us in meeting our self-imposed 60-day target,” Williams said.
The LCF Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscope is used to study ballistic evidence and compare two bullet casings to determine if they are matched. Built with world-class Olympus Apochromatically corrected optics and macro zoom bodies, the LCF provides clean, crisp, high-resolution images. The parfocality on the LCF allows the investigator to examine evidence through the extended magnification range without any adjustment to focus, instrument height, or ergonomics. The Leeds Universal Holder eliminates the need for several brushes or sample holders, allowing examiner to use one accessory to hold various size samples.
Ballistics expert Matthew Noedel, owner of Noedel Scientific, is training twelve INDECOM forensic staff members and selected investigators in forensics examination. The goal is to train the staff to be crime scene reconstruction certified in first two years, then AFTE Firearm and Tool Mark certified within three or four years. By acquiring state-of-the art forensic equipment and extensive training, INDECOM is on the road to becoming a strong forensic division in Jamaica.