When most people hear “Washington State Patrol” they automatically think of troopers patrolling the roads or investigating a collision scene out on the highway. What some may not know, is there is a small team within the agency that provides its own type of investigative service.
24 hours a day, 365 days a year, WSP forensic scientists are on call to investigate any crime scene across the state. Including death investigations, sexual assaults, assaults/officer involved shootings, and other crimes depending on circumstance. Not to mention, every single call out is free. Any time a state agency requests WSP services, a team can be dispatched within minutes.
“We provide a service that helps requesting agencies when they don’t have the resources, manpower, and/or expertise needed to conduct a thorough investigation…It’s a valuable resource to help agencies, victims, and communities. We pride ourselves on our work and providing excellent service to our requesting agencies,” says Forensic Scientist Courtney Paduch.
All WSP forensic scientists go through the same training and are capable of performing any tasks on scene such as bloodstain pattern analysis, trajectory analysis, evidence collection, scene reconstruction, and more. After all is said and done, WSP scientists can provide a detailed report of their findings to the requesting agency and will testify in court if required.
Working in an environment this demanding and technical is a challenge but also incredibly rewarding. Paduch says that the every person on the team comes with a different background and their own skill set. But they all work well together, enjoy being around each other, and most importantly always look out for one another.
Take a look at this quick video of some WSP forensic scientists working together on a real case for Bellevue P.D.