Florida Crime Scene Investigation Training

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Instructors and Staff

INSTRUCTORS AND STAFF

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MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

Dr. Lerah Sutton is the Dean and Director of Forensic Education at the CSI Academy of Florida.  In addition to her work at the CSI Academy she serves as the Program Director of the Forensic Medicine Concentration in the Master of Medical Sciences Program at the University of Florida, a program for which she was instrumental in the design and development.  She is also employed by the UF Maples Center for Forensic Medicine and teaches in the nationally recognized Hume Honors Program.  She earned her PhD in Forensic Anthropology in 2017 from the University of Florida wherein she researched new methods for estimating the postmortem interval based on degrees of decomposition.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Forensic Science and Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with highest honors from the University of Florida.  Her areas of research interest and specialization include human decomposition, forensic taphonomy, and comparative osteology.  At the request of law enforcement agencies and academic institutions, she frequently responds to death investigation scenes, consults on cases, and offers hands-on workshops and educational seminars. Throughout her higher education she was employed by the UF Maples Center as a Graduate Assistant and Laboratory Assistant and previously worked at the Florida District 7 & 24 Office of the Medical Examiner.  In addition to her academic duties, fieldwork, and casework, she plans to continue conducting original research on methods of estimating the postmortem interval.

Email: lerahsutton@csiacademyflorida.com

Education:

  • B.S. in Criminal Justice at Liberty University

Experience:

  • Police Officer for Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Major Crimes Crime Scene Detective for Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Training Coordinator for Crime Scene Unit at Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Member of Region 3’s Forensic Response Team

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Member of the International Association for Identification
  • Member of the Association of Crime Scene Reconstruction
  • Member of the Florida Division of International Association for Identification
  • Law Enforcement Certification
  • Corrections Certification
  • Criminal Justice Standards and Training Instructor Certification

Email: kimberly.long@csiacademyflorida.com

Education:

  • CJST Standards at the Santa Fe College Police Academy
  • FBI NA Graduate at the FBI National Academy

Experience:

  • Special Operations Bureau Lieutenant at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
  • Director, Eighth Judicial Circuit Special Investigation Unit
  • FL Licensed Private Investigator

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Florida Police Certification (Retired)
  • Florida Licensed Private Investigator
  • Board Accredited Investigator

Email:

 

Dr. Byrd is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine He is a Board Certified Forensic Entomologist and Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology.  Dr. Byrd is a member of the UF Faculty Senate, and is the program administrator for the UF’s Veterinary Forensic Sciences, Wildlife Forensic Sciences, and Forensic Medicine educational programs.  Dr. Byrd also teaches in UF’s nationally recognized Honors Program.  He was twice elected President of both the American Board of Forensic Entomology, and the North American Forensic Entomology Association.  He is the first person to be elected President of both professional North American Forensic Entomology Associations.  He currently serves as the Secretary of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, and the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association.  He is the Secretary and Treasurer of the Florida Division of the International Association for Identification.  Outside of academics Dr. Byrd serves as a Medicolegal Death Investigator within the National Disaster Medical System, Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, Region IV.  He also serves as the Commander for the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System.  He is a subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology.  He has published numerous scientific articles on the use and application of entomological evidence in legal investigations.  Dr. Byrd has combined his formal academic training in Entomology and Forensic Science to serve as a consultant and educator in both criminal and civil legal investigations throughout the United States and Internationally.  Dr. Byrd specializes in the education of law enforcement officials, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, and other death investigators on the use and applicability of arthropods in legal investigations.  His research efforts have focused on the development and behavior of insects that have forensic importance, and he has over 15 years experience in the collection and analysis of entomological evidence.

Email: jhbyrd@forensic-entomology.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Watson is a Detective Sergeant with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and oversees the operation of the agency’s Crime Scene Unit. Det. Sergeant Watson is an IAI certified Crime Scene Investigator and has worked as a Crime Scene Investigator for CCSO for six years. Prior to this assignment he worked as a Detective, Deputy, and Police Officer. He is an adjunct instructor for the Florida Gateway College Law Enforcement Academy and has trained children, adults, and law enforcement in various aspects of Criminal Investigations. In addition to his duties as Crime Scene Sergeant he also works as an agency instructor, Crisis Negotiator, Internet Crimes against Children Investigator, and Cold Case Investigator.  As a Crime Scene Investigator Sergeant Watson has been trained in a wide array of skills and disciplines that fall within the realm of Forensic Science, including latent print recovery, Blood stain Analysis, Tool Marks, Footwear and tire impressions, Traffic Homicide Investigations, Death Investigations, Human Remains Recovery, Shooting Reconstruction, Forensic Photography, and ten-print fingerprint comparisons. Sergeant Watson has testified in court in multiple cases on the identification, recovery, documentation, analysis, and collection of evidence in criminal cases.

Email: jwatson@csiacademyflorida.com

Education:

  • MS Forensics at the University of Florida

Experience:

  • Victim Advocate at the Alachua County Sheriffs Office
  • Crime Scene Investigator at the Alachua County Sheriffs Office
  • Veterinary Forensic Analyst at the University of Florida
  • Chemist, Forensic Toxicology at the University of Florida
  • Adjunct Instructor, Law Enforcement Academy at Santa Fe College of Institute of Public Safety

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Criminal Justice Instructor, Criminal Justice Standards and Training – Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Certified Crime Scene Investigator, International Association for Identification

Email:

Education:

  • Criminology at Florida State University
  • BA Criminology at Saint Leo University

Experience:

  • Corrections Officer at the Lancaster Correctional Institution
  • Evidence/Crime Scene Manager/LPE at the Levy County Sheriffs Office
  • Senior Certified Latent Print Examiner

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • International Association for Identification Certified Latent Print Examiner

Education:

  • Associates of Arts degree-Santa Fe College
  • Numerous training classes in the field of Crime Scene Investigation, Death Investigation and Photography.
  • State of Florida Police Certification at Santa Fe College Police Academy

Experience:

  • 22 years as Crime Scene Investigator with the Gainesville Police Dept.
  • 4 years as a Traffic Homicide Investigator with the Gainesville Police Dept.
  • Retired after one year as a Police Officer with the University of Florida Police Dept. and 30 years as a Police Officer with the Gainesville Police Dept.

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Criminal Justice Standards and Training Police Officer Certification
  • Life Member of the Florida Division of the International Association for Identification.

Education:

  • MA English at the University of Florida

Experience:

  • Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant, Detective (Homicide, Sex Crimes, Child Abuse, and Computer Pornography including “Innocent Images” and “Traveler Cases”), Internal Affairs, Inspector at the Alachua County Sheriffs Office
  • Police Officer at the Gainesville Police Department
  • Adjunct Professor at Santa Fe College
  • Graduate Research Assistant and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Florida, Secondary School AP and Duel Enrollment Instructor
  • Independent Contractual Case Work for Private Attorneys

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Law Enforcement Certification
  • Innocent Images Certification

Education:

  • BA in Criminology at the University of Florida
  • Numerous training classes in the field of Crime Scene Investigation, Death
  • Investigation and Photography

Experience:

  • Corporal, United States Army, Signal Corp
  • Police Officer at the University of Florida Police Department
  • 28 years as a Police Officer with the Gainesville Police Department with 7 years as a Property and Persons Crimes Detective and 12 years as a Major Case Crime Scene Investigator

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Criminal Justice Standards and Training Police Officer Certification
  • Member of the Florida Division of the International Association for Identification
  • Field Training Officer for new Police Officers

Education

  • M.S. in Criminal Forensics, Florida Gulf Coast University

Experience

  • Forensic Investigator, District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office Fort Myers, FL
  • Adjunct Instructor, Florida Southwestern State College Fort Myers, FL
  • Instructor, Lee County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant’s Academy
  • Instructor, Sanibel Police Department Supervisor’s Academy

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, Registrations

  • Board Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator (Fellow),
  • American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, BC1659
  • Certified Radiographer, Florida Department of Health JX0025921
  • Associate Member, American Academy of Forensic Science
  • Certified CANVAS Instructor
  • Beta Test Member, Physicians for Human Rights International Forensics Program
  • Advisory Board Member, Keiser University Fort Myers, FL
  • Foundation for Lee County Public Schools STEM Program

(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); guest instructor for Criminal Justice High School Academies at South Fort Myers High School, East Lee County High School)

Education:

  • MA in Criminal Justice Administration, University of South Florida
  • BS in Biology, Jacksonville University

Experience:

  • Chief Forensic Investigator, Pasco Sheriff’s Office
  • Forensic Scientist III, Latent Prints, BAE Systems, Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facilities
  • Director of Forensic Sciences, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
  • Law Enforcement Lieutenant, State of Florida, University of South Florida
  • Crime Laboratory Analyst, State of Florida, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Crime Scene Investigator, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Sheriff, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, Registrations, Offices:

  • Life Member, Florida Division of the International Association for Identification
  • Former CJSTC Instructor
  • Former Florida Police Officer (inactive, retired)
  • Florida Licensed Investigator
  • Director Region 3, Florida Division of the International Association for Identification

Education:

  • Associates of Arts- Santa Fe Community College
  • Bachelors of Science in Criminology- Florida State University
  • Law Enforcement Certification- Santa Fe Community College Institute of Public Safety

Experience:

  • Retired Police Corporal- Gainesville (FL) Police Department
  • Medical Malpractice Investigator- Florida Department of Health
  • Reserve Police Officer- City of Alachua Police Department
  • Claims Investigator- Veracity Research Company
  • Investigator- Alpha Protection and Investigations

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Certified Law Enforcement Officer
  • Licensed Private Investigator in the following States:
  • Florida
  • Georgia

MEET OUR STAFF

Deb Mongiardo is a graduate of the University of Florida.  After a long and successful career in the banking and finance industry, she was hired as the General Manager and Director of Admissions of the CSI Academy of Florida.  Always having an interest in Crime Scene Investigation, she was eager to become a part of the administration of a forensic science and crime scene training facility.

Email: debbie@csiacademyflorida.com

Jason Massey holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and served in the US Army for 12 years and completed 3 tours of duty in Iraq.  He is a program assistant at the CSI Academy of Florida and oversees facility operations and community outreach programs.  For over five years, Jason has volunteered time assisting the crime scene unit at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Email: jason.massey@csiacademyflorida.com

Stephanie Massey holds an associate’s degree in Education.  Prior to joining the CSI Academy of Florida, she was employed as an evidence technician at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.  In her position at the CSI Academy she oversees community outreach programs and marketing initiatives.

Email: stephanie@csiacademyflorida.com

Erin Sprague holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Florida.  After completing an internship at the CSI Academy of Florida she was promoted to intern supervisor in 2017. Erin has formal training in crime scene work and is experienced in both marketing and management. Her research interests include psychological research into the criminal mind and applying it to crime scene analysis.

Email: esprague@csiacademyflorida.com

Our two managing partners are Mr. Tom R. Sperring, Sr. and his wife Phyllis. The Sperrings are true business people. In 1972 Mr. Sperring founded C&S Building Maintenance Corporation. He was working as a nursery inspector for the State of Florida when he founded the small corporation to supplement his family’s income. Thirty four years later this small family corporation had grown into a very successful business that employed over 500 people. This was done under the leadership of Mr. Sperring, the chairman of the board and CEO and his wife Phyllis, who served as president and chief financial officer.

Some of C&S’s major clients:

  • The operation of 72 movable bridges (draw bridges) for the Florida Department of Transportation.
  • Furnishing janitorial services for all the municipal buildings in Duval County/City of Jacksonville,
  • Operating 29 rest areas for the State of Florida.
  • Managed the locks and dams in the State of Florida for the North and South Florida Water Management Districts.

The Sperrings sold their business but continued their entrepreneurial endeavors. They understand the complexity of business, for this reason the Sperrings chose to become managing partners for the CSI Academy of Florida.

IN MEMORIAM

It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of our lead instructor at the CSI Academy of Florida, Retired GPD Officer Marc Trahan. He passed away unexpectedly last night after suffering a massive heart attack.

Marc was one of GPD’s Forensic Investigators for over 20 years and retired in November of 2015. He also served as the Department’s historian for many years and recently co-authored a history book of GPD.

Education:

  • BA History at the University of Florida
  • Criminal Justice at Santa Fe College
  • State of Florida Police Certification at Santa Fe College Police Academy

Experience:

  • Police Officer/Crime Scene Investigator for the City of Gainesville
  • Adjunct Instructor for Police Academy at Santa Fe College

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Criminal Justice Standards and Training Instructor Certification
  • Criminal Justice Standards and Training Police Officer Certification
  • Senior Crime Scene Analyst Certification with the International Association for Identification

It is with great sadness in our hearts that we announce the passing of beloved friend and mentor Dan Gerard. As senior instructor and Retired Alachua County Detective Sergeant, Dan carried more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement and forensics. He earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice at St. Leo University, specializing in crime scene training.

Prior to retirement, he served as a U.S. Army military police investigator, and was awarded two commendation medals for his service. For 11 years, he occupied a supervisory role as Forensic Unit Supervisor, and was Region 3 Forensic Response Team Leader from 2006-2013. Dan is survived by Maggie, his wife of 26 years, and his daughter Sarah.

Dan is sorely missed by the CSI Academy family every day. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and friends.


Education:

  • BA Criminal Justice at Saint Leo College

Experience:

  • Military Police Investigator in the Army
  • Police Officer at the Gainesville Police Department
  • Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant, Crime Scene Supervisor

Occupational Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations:

  • Law Enforcement Certification
  • International Association for Identification
  • Law Enforcement Instructors Certification

Danny was one of the most prominent and influential investigators in North Florida. He died of cancer the same year that the academy was founded. Mr. Pascucci was highly respected in the law enforcement community. He was known for his success in cracking criminal cases, as well as for his ability to draw out crucial information from defendants.

Mr. Pascucci has worked on numerous high-profile cases, including the “Gainesville Student Murders” case. The investigative work in this case resulted in the arrest and conviction of Danny Rolling, a serial killer who was responsible for the murder of 5 people in 1990.

During his career, Mr. Pascucci served as the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office’s head of forensics. In this role, he spearheaded the use of CSI technology. After retiring in 1997, he continued to work as a private investigator. One highlight of his career was being hired by the U.S. Justice Department to perform investigative work for missions that took place in Iraq and former Yugoslavia. Evidence that he collected was used in the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević at The Hague – a case involving charges of crimes against humanity in Kosovo.

At CSI Academy of Florida, we strive to carry on the legacy of Mr. Pascucci by teaching others how to uphold the same standards of excellence within the investigative field

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