Classroom instruction, which was provided in English and Arabic through translators, consisted of training in evidence collection, basic science, forensics, collection procedures, and search pattern evidence location techniques, said Matthews.
In addition to classroom training, attendees completed a practical, hands-on exercise, explained Matthews. The exercise showed attendees how to properly collect evidence from a crime scene and extract information from improvised explosive devices, before and after detonation.
"The purpose for this training is to enable the ISF to respond to crimes in their areas of operation with the knowledge to protect themselves and the Iraqi public while properly collecting evidence," said Billy Canaan, Battery B's civilian police advisor and hands-on instructor for the class.
Using forensic evidence will provide the ISF with an advantage in apprehending suspects and collecting evidence.
"That evidence can lead to the identification of the suspect or suspects involved in the crime by submitting the collected evidence to the Iraqi labs," added Canaan.
Historically, the Iraqi legal system based convictions on interrogations and witness statements, explained Canaan from Baton Rouge, La., adding that scientific evidence will help improve the system.
"The science of collecting evidence and having it exploited gives the Iraqis the ability to not only identify the guilty, but to exonerate the innocent," said Matthews, from Fort Worth, Texas. This evidence-based system did not exist in the court systems of Iraq until the science-based system was introduced.
"It is truly a renovating step in the history of Iraq's rule of law," said Matthews.
Each participant earned a certificate upon successful completion of the course, said Spc. Mohamed Soliman from Brooklyn, N.Y. and translator for the course.
"The ISF feel greatly motivated and privileged to receive the training and certificate. They feel prepared to apply their newly acquired knowledge in real life scenarios in their city," said Soliman.