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Death Investigation School

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the subject material the class contains graphic content.  This course is limited to sworn law enforcement officers ONLY who have been designated by their agency to conduct death investigations. Full-time/Level-III certification and at least 3 years of experience are required.

  “Few things in our democracy are as important as ensuring that citizens have confidence in their institutions in a crisis.  For many individuals the death of a loved one is just such a crisis.  Ensuring that the proper steps and procedures are taken at the scene of that death to reassure family members that the death was a natural one, a suicide, or a homicide is a key element in maintaining citizen confidence in local officials.”                                                                                  

- Jeanne M. Adkins                                                                      

Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator                                                                      

U.S. Department of Justice.

This 40-hour course is designed to provide basic information for officers who are new to, or who want to learn more about, death investigation.

Topics in this course of instruction include:

  • The manner, mechanism and cause of deaths
  • A review of various types of deaths
  • Autopsy and role of, and interfacing, with the Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Bloodstain Evidence
  • Fire related deaths and hazmat concerns
  • Missing person’s investigations
  • Child and infant Deaths
  • Major crime investigation and evidence
  • Computer forensic analysis and death investigations
  • Case reviews
  • And much more.

Instructors for this course included members of the Office of the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner as well as Vermont State Detectives, members of the Vermont State Police Crime Scene Search Team and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Wardens.

Crash Investigation for Level-II Officers

  • Coordinator: Leslie Bodette
  • Length of course: 16 hours
  • Course hours: 0800 – 1630 
  • Date:
    • April 12 - 13, 2017 at Vermont State Police – Westminster Barracks
  • Tuition: Commuting - $50.50 (includes materials and lunch), Overnight - $90.50 (Includes materials, lodging, and meals).
  • Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

This fundamental training course will provide the new part-time officer with a familiarization of accident/crash reporting requirements and form completion. A mock scene will be utilized to demonstrate the measurement and diagramming techniques. Additional scene management will emphasize traffic control, preservation of evidence and witness identification.

Animal Cruelty Investigation - Level I

  • Coordinator: Jenn Firpo
  • Length of course: 7 hours
  • Course hours: 0800 – 1600 hours
  • Location: Vermont Police Academy
  • Date:  September 6, 2017
  • Tuition: $53.00 (Includes materials and lunch)
  • Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

This introductory workshop on investigating animal cruelty will cover all the basics of an investigation, including, but not limited to:

  • A review of Vermont’s criminal animal cruelty statute;
  • The needed elements for a strong animal cruelty criminal investigation
  • Interview and interrogation techniques
  • Report writing
  • Using expert witnesses
  • Evidence collection
  • Search warrant procedure; and
  • A review of resources available at the local, state and national level to assist in responding to incidents of animal cruelty.

This course will also review Vermont’s Cruelty Response System (CRS) and the CRS web-based case management system, Animal Tracks.  The Vermont Animal Cruelty Response Coalition and the CRS were formed to facilitate cross-agency collaboration and communication in order to more effectively respond to animal cruelty complaints, with an emphasis on accountability and follow up

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