HFM, police team up on project

HFM Criminal Justice instructor Tom Nethaway, left, helps John DiCaprio and Stephen Pasquarelli, seated, from the Amsterdam Police Dept. learn OSCR360 software. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — The Criminal Justice program at the HFM Career and Technical Center is offering resources to local law enforcement to enhance forensic photography at crime scenes and other locations, according to a news release.

Last year, the Career and Technical Center purchased a spherical camera and software package for student training purposes. Produced by the Victor, New York-based L-TRON Corp., the OSCR360 omnidirectional camera is designed to collect photographic evidence at crime scenes, motor vehicle accidents and other investigations. The camera’s related software can also be used to make courtroom presentations during trial.

HFM Criminal Justice instructors Thomas DiMezza and Thomas Nethaway say in addition to being used in the classroom by students, the camera will also be made available to local police for use during investigations.

On Aug. 7, a forensic educator from L-TRON Corp. visited the Career and Technical Center to train investigators from the Amsterdam Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office on the camera. Additional trainings for other interested agencies will be planned in the future.

HFM Career and Technical Center Director Jay A. DeTraglia said the idea to purchase the spherical camera came out of meetings with the Montgomery County Emergency Management Team, a collaboration between Montgomery County law enforcement, state police and Montgomery County school districts.

Andrew McNeil, director of forensic education for L-Tron Corp., instructs Montgomery County Sheriff’s investigators Michael Shang and Karla Lanphere on the use of the OSCR360, an omnidirectional forensic camera. The new camera will be used for instruction at the HFM Criminal Justice program and will be made available for use by local law enforcement. (Photo submitted)

“This state-of-the-art camera is an instructional tool that will benefit our students in the classroom, and it’s a community resource for our law enforcement partners as well,” DeTraglia said.

The HFM Criminal Justice program is open to high school juniors and seniors in the Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery County area. The two-year program prepares students for entry into college programs as well as career opportunities in law enforcement, public/private security and the correction field.

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