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  • shebna 1:46 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crime lab, Forensic,   

    Can’t believe it’s all over 

    Yesterday was the last day at my internship. I can’t believe how quickly the time flew by. I’m so grateful to my supervisor and all the other staff at the FSS for this amazing experience. I hope to be back soon, either as an intern or maybe an employee.

    Earlier in the week, I mostly helped with the crime lab’s accreditation preparation. It was kind of a boring way to end my last week, but the accreditation process is very important to the lab.

    Yesterday i went to the training that I was waiting for: the Forensics training. The presenter, the director of the DNA crime lab, used actual case studies to directly illustrate what their lab does. He also ended the presentation with a little case study that we were allowed to solve. I learned so much basic Forensic Sciences information, which only left me craving to learn more. I am so excited about the possibility of starting a Masters in Forensic Science in the Spring. Here’s to hoping!

    Good luck to all the other interns on their future endeavors!

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  • shebna 12:24 am on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: defensive tactics,   

    Defensive Tactics Training! 

    Last night, I went to a Defensive Tactics training (since we have to go to at least one training a month). It was really interesting. The officer who taught the training session is the one who trains the police recruits how to properly use defensive tactics as a people office.
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  • shebna 2:59 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crime scene investigators, filing, , storm   

    More Days of Paperwork 

    Last week,  my supervisor was out-of-town and he was supposed to leave me some things for me to do. When I came in on Monday morning, I reported to the Sargent, who told me that my supervisor forgot to leave me work to do.  I ending up  spending the morning helping sort, organize, and file papers. I spent the rest of the day sitting with the Crime Scene Investigators. They didn’t really have anything that I could help them with, so another intern and I just sat around waiting for a possible call that there was a crime scene that needed to be investigated. While sitting with the investigators, I learned that MoCo has already had 12 homicides this year (5 of which occurred in the span of 10 days!) This is surprising because last year MoCo only had 13 homicides for the entire year. Bring only July, there’s a good chance that we will surpass that number this year.

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  • shebna 1:39 am on July 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evidence, fireram, Washington Post   

    Inventorying and Spreadsheets 

    Not much to say in this post. I spent this week inventorying all of the evidence that my supervisor has in his possession. I had to go through all of the bags/boxes and mark down what was in them and if it looked like he had already test-fired the evidence. I spent a while on this project and I am no where near being done!

    I also worked on  correcting a spreadsheet of all the firearms that he has test-fired. I had to go to make sure that everything was spelled correctly, since the spreadsheet will be sent to the Washington Post.

    My supervisor will be out of town starting tomorrow, so it’ll be interesting to see what he leaves for me to do.

    On a completely different note, I’ve been working on my Masters thesis a bit more. I’m trying to get it done by the end of the summer, so I won’t have to worry too much about it during the semester. Can’t wait until I’m finally done with that!

     
  • shebna 3:29 am on July 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Explorers, State Attorney,   

    A Week of Trainings 

    As a MCPD intern, you are required to go to at least one training a month. Each training has a different topic. Examples are Defense Tactics or Miranda Rights, etc. This week I went to a training about the States Attorney Office. It was really interesting. The speaker was a prosecutor for the Office. He discussed how the Police Department and the State’s Attorney Office work together when solving cases. He also mentioned that the State Attorney’s Office works with schools, neighborhoods, and communities. For example, working to set up neighborhood watches or having dangerous parking lots patrolled. He said that the parking lot at Lake Forest mall in the Gaithersburg, MD is one of the worst so be careful if you’re around there. He also said that almost every type of crime has decreased in the last year except for car thief,  which has increased. So also be careful about what you leave in your car.

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  • shebna 3:42 am on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: firearms, heavy lifting, test-fire   

    Definitely getting my workout in 

    Since my last post, my supervisor moved on from test-firing handguns to test-firing rifles and shotguns (AND BOY ARE THOSE THINGS HEAVY!!!).

    Here is a sequence of our day when firearms are being test-fired:

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  • shebna 11:18 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: firearm   

    Up Close and Personal with Firearms 

    Today my supervisor had to test fire a lot of firearms (i.e. handguns) which were seized during investigations. We  spent most of the day at the range, which is at the Police Training Academy. There he shoots the firearms into this machine that is made to catch the rounds. While my supervisor was testing the firearms, I spent most of the time organizing live rounds: cartridges and shot shells. Cartridges hold together the bullet, gunpowder, and primer. Shot shells are cartridges specifically for shotguns.

    Then later, he showed me to to shoot a revolver. First, he explained and showed me how to pick it up, hold it, load it, and etc. Then he let me try shooting 6 rounds into the special machine. I was definitely scared that I was going to do something wrong, since I’ve never held or touched a real firearm before. Plus the sound is so loud even while wearing noise reducing earphones, that I couldn’t help but flinch.

    Afterwards, my supervisor treated me for lunch at Burger King, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s my favorite fast food burger chain, so I was satisfied! All in all, I’d say I learned a lot today and that it was a pretty good day!

     
    • lara ferraiolo 6:07 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      sounds like your supervisor is providing you with great experience (and yummy lunch — did you get the oreo shake? :))!

      • shebna 8:56 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        No oreo shake for me… I didn’t want to seem greedy since he was treating me, so I just got a whopper jr. meal. But the fries are so delicious that I survived without the shake.

        These interesting experiences are making me want to go into forensics even more… I guess this means that I should work on my application for MS in Forensic Science.

  • shebna 5:22 pm on June 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business casual, ,   

    Lesson learned… 

    When I first started my internship in May, I was told via email to dress business casual  (no jeans) and wear closed toed shoes. I guess my mistake was never asking what exactly what that meant. I work in Clinical Research and have to wear business casual there, so I assumed that I could wear the same types of outfits that I wear to work to my internship. But I was wrong.

    At work, business casual is defined as wearing nice tops, pants, capris, dresses, etc.  I figured that wearing dresses probably wouldn’t be appropriate at my internship, so I’ve been wearing pants and a nice top. This week though since it was a hotter week, I decided to wear a nice top and a pair of black dressy capris. When I came in my supervisor had a chat with me and basically told me that their business casual requires that I always wear pants and a nice top and closed toed shoes. I of course apologized and explained that I assumed that the business casual at my work was the same as the one at the police dept. I also volunteered to go back home and change into pants.  My supervisor apologized as well for not making it clear in the beginning.

    I’ve never had this problem before this, but I’ve learned my lesson. I will definitely make sure to clear this up ahead a time at future employers/internships.

     
    • Lara 3:49 pm on June 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Business casual can mean different things at different offices which is very tricky! Sounds like you handled your boss’ suggestion really well and now you know : )

  • shebna 3:43 pm on June 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: be safe, homicides, Montgomery County MD,   

    Montgomery County, MD- one of the top/safest US counties 

    Yesterday, my supervisor was presenting at Springbrook High School in Maryland and he asked me to come along. I’m glad I did, because although he has introduced me to a couple of things here and there, I learned a lot from his presentation.

    I learned about the different parts of a firearm; that what he really does is look at the microscopic markings on the firearm components to compare unknown components to known ones; and  that understanding physics is really important in understanding firearms.

    What stuck out the most was what he said about Montgomery County, MD, which is where I was raised and where I still live.

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  • shebna 9:23 pm on May 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chemistry, Forensics,   

    Hello Hello! 

    Hello readers! My name is Shebna Garcon and I will be graduating this December with a Masters in Chemistry. This summer, I am interning at the Montgomery Country Police Department’s Forensic Services Section (MCPD FSS) or in other words Montgomery County’s Crime Lab.

    Before I start yapping all about the internship, let me give you a little background information about myself. I double-majored in Biochemistry and Psychology at American University and graduated in 2008. In order to keep both of my degree fields open, I work in the psychology field as a clinical research coordinator while working on my Masters in Chemistry at AU. I originally wanted to focus on Forensic Chemistry, but the advisor for that was on sabbatical from last summer to this one. So instead I concentrated on Environmental Chemistry. It’s very interesting and I actually enjoyed my thesis research (however not really enjoying having to write my thesis).

    So since I was not able to focus my research on Forensic Chemistry, I settled for an internship at the MCPD FSS. I started a couple weeks ago and I already love it there. Unfortunately I’m only there one day a week, but I’ve already learned so much in that time.

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