Seminar Title

Meeting the Investigative Challenge of Death Investigation

Dates of Events

01/19/2022 through 01/21/2022

Last Updated: 10/26/2021
Instructor(s): David Rivers
Location: Pickens County Sheriff's Office - 216 C. David Stone Road, Pickens, SC 29671
Hotel: Hampton Inn - Easley - 8 Southern Center Court, Easley, SC 29640
Course Registration Fee: $325
Instructor Bio
David Rivers
David W. Rivers, Sgt. (Retired)
Metro-Dade Police Department
Miami, Florida

David Rivers retired as a Detective Sergeant in the Homicide Bureau of the Metro-Dade Police Department after 27 years of service. David was assigned to the Homicide Bureau for 20 of those 27 years, 4 years as a Detective and 16 years as a supervisor. In those capacities, he conducted and assisted in several hundred death investigations including homicides, suicides, non-vehicular accidental deaths and numerous officer involved shootings. On April 11, 1986 he was assigned as the supervisor of the F.B.I. Shooting in Miami which, to date, is still the largest shootout in the Bureau’s history. In 1988 he was assigned as the supervisor of the “Cold Case Squad” which was responsible for continuing investigation of information received on over 1,800 open homicides dating back to 1951. Additionally, he has consulted on cases in Canada, Holland, United Kingdom, as well as the United States. He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Nova University and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Florida International University.

David is a Charter Member and past member of the Board of Directors of the International Homicide Investigator’s Association. In 2012, he received an Excellence and Life Time Achievement Award from the I.H.I.A. for death investigation and training. Additionally, he is a member of several state homicide investigators associations. He is a current member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Training Association. (I.L.E.E.T.A.), International Police Association (I.P.A.) Region 43, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (A.C.J.S.) and the Police Section of A.C.J.S. In April of 2010, he was certified as a Force Analyst by the Force Science ® Institute Limited. He again attended the certification course in 2017 (as a refresher).

He is currently the President of Voice & Ink Enterprises, Inc., a Florida Corporation that specializes in law enforcement training and expert witness testimony. David has been teaching law enforcement officers since 1981 and is currently an instructor for the Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute. He has instructed law enforcement officers in 48 states and 3 foreign countries. He specializes in Homicide Investigations and Officer Involved Shootings.
Course Objectives
Course Overview:
Meeting the Investigative Challenge of Death Investigation
Natural Death • Undetermined Death • Accidental Death
• Suicide • Homicide • Continued Investigation

Course Objectives:  
This two and a half day training module will provide the attendee with the skills and competency to conduct complete and thorough homicide investigations with prosecutorial merit. Additionally, the attendee will be provided with the skills to recognize and handle other types of death investigations, bringing them to a successful conclusion.
At the beginning of the class a case will be examined through discussion, question and answers, as well as, an evaluation of evidence discovered by student observations. After the discussion the students will evaluate whether the classification of the case should be accidental death, suicide or homicide.
The class will cover three basic steps in all homicide investigations: Crime Scene, Follow-up and Case Courtroom presentation.
Crime Scene:
This block will cover the most recent and important relevant court decision regarding search and seizure, as well as, some basic techniques and definitions.

The follow up phrase is the “detecting” phase. Some of the topics discussed will be interviews, area canvases, technology, Miranda and other court decisions, as well as, some ethnic and cultural issues.
Case and Courtroom Presentation:

Attendees will examine some suggestions provided by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors on how to be a better witness and how to be better prepared for court.
 A brief history of the Cold Case Squads, their makeup and how they have evolved over the years will be discussed. Students will learn the 12 basic steps to re-opening and managing unresolved cases. Some successful cold case prosecutions will be discussed.
 Course Objectives: 
Other types of death investigations will be covered: autoerotic deaths, non-vehicular deaths (including airline crashes), suicides and unattended natural deaths. 
Autoerotic Deaths:

These types of deaths are some of the most unique and challenging cases an officer will face.  
Non-Vehicular Deaths:
These types of deaths have a propensity for ending up in civil court and require in-depth and thorough investigations.

Suicides have a multitude of problems that face the investigator. The analysis of these problems will provide the investigator with the skills and tools necessary to objectively examine these cases.  
Unattended Natural Deaths:
Most state laws and all the families of a victim(s) who die in apparently good health, require answers and an assurance the death was natural. 
Deaths Involving the Use of Force:
Deadly force and the multitude of subjects in dealing with its application by officers, as well as, the deaths of officers in the line of duty will be discussed. Attendees will be provided with the skills that are critical to the understanding of the dynamics and problems that occur during these types of cases.

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