Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:02 pm
I had to put my two pence into the equation.
I became an examiner/analyst about the same time as Jonathan. In fact we worked for the same unit in those early days. Whilst Jonathan has moved into the commercial world I remain in LE. It could make a person wonder was Jonathan not strong enough? Or is there something wrong with me that I should chose to stay?
Yes Jonathan was strong enough and I don't think I'm that
insane but it is interesting to consider, can only the warped stay in LE?
For me remembering the successes makes it all worthwhile. Back in 2004 I did a job where I identified another current victim of abuse that we hadn't previously known about when I began the job. I 'felt' there was more to find and carried on after finishing the original work request. Because of that work further arrests were made and a little girl was taken out of a situation of abuse.
Whatever happened after that, I had saved this little girl from further abuse. Any future job I did from then on might present this same opportunity. So I stick with it, with that thought in mind.
Child abuse victim identification units exist and hearing their success stories can raise the spirits of even the most cynical examiner. Knowing that a particular child has been found and that there will be no more videos of them is a positive result that can make it all worthwhile. More information like this should find it's way to and from LE agencies.
Maybe these victims will never get over the abuse, maybe they will. Tomorrow is always another day for them and one day further since the abuse stopped. At least it has stopped.
I've limited my responses to child abuse jobs because I didn't want to get graphic on here with tales of murder and terrorism work. Sometimes with those jobs all you can do is provide evidence that proves guilt. Nobody wins in that scenario, even for the family of the victim this provides little or no comfort. Maybe a future victim is safe now we've put the perpetrator in prison, maybe.
In these situations objectivity and professionalism must become the overriding factors. A job well done is all you might achieve. Maybe you learn something new from a technical point of view for a future case. Find all the positives, no mater how small, that's what I believe.
As for the article's remarks concerning personal interaction outside of work. It can be hard as a parent to not let my children become cynical based on my experience, rather they should become cynical from their own experiences. When I get home I have to look like I've been on the golf course all afternoon, cheery and happy. I can achieve that but some people might need a means of unwinding some days.
Despite going to scene attendances, getting a bullet proof vest, going into police buildings and occasionally knowing about breaking news stories before they break, according to my teenage daughter I am still not cool. Damn.
Anyway, I've droned on long enough.
Steve Falkner, Forensic Computer Examiner, London, UK