I have taken the SWGTREAD Forum off of life support and it is now officially dead.
However, even if the forum is able to be restored, I will not restore it long term. I will migrate the functions of the Forum to a new platform - FBI Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP).
The Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP) is a secure platform for law enforcement agencies, intelligence groups, and criminal justice entities. LEEP provides web-based investigative tools and analytical resources, and the networking it supports is unrivaled by other platforms available to law enforcement. Users collaborate in a secure environment, use tools to strengthen their cases, and share departmental documents.
Within LEEP, there are many applications, including JusticeConnect. This application is the one that will likely support the future "SWGTREAD Forum."
JusticeConnect is an innovative, new online collaboration service accessible via LEEP. Through online forums and blogs, partners can communicate with experts, share information and ideas, and receive feedback with criminal investigations.
While I'm working to implement the JusticeConnect site, please ensure you have access to LEEP. This site is only open to law enforcement employees. Read about joining at the bottom of this URL - https://le.fbi.gov/informational-tools/leep.
Thanks for your patience.
The Forensics Department at Webster Groves High School (WGHS) in St. Louis, MO photographs footwear at local Walmart stores. This information is edited and maintained by students and staff at WGHS as a resource of the law enforcement community.
The reference collection includes images of the outsoles and uppers and attributes of the footwear items, including the make, model name, and model number.
WGHS also welcomes search requests if you have an unknown crime scene impression that you'd like the WGHS students to search. They do not claim to be forensic footwear experts, but they enjoy the opportunity to offer their search services to the law enforcement community.
Noblis is conducting a black box study to evaluate the accuracy and reproducibility of conclusions by practicing forensic tire examiners. This study will also assess what impact, if any, such factors as experience and training may have on examiner decisions. Noblis is conducting the study under a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
Participants will be asked to examine 40-50 tire impression comparison sets over a period of approximately 5 months. Each comparison set will contain one questioned impression, two full circumference known test impressions, and one full circumference set of known tread images. Where possible, multiple images taken using varying lighting will be included. The test will be conducted entirely in a web-based format using high quality digital imagery. No physical test materials will be provided to participants. Participants are, however, permitted to download and print materials as needed to conduct the examination.
Participation is open to interested United States and international tire evidence examiners, including full and part-time examiners, who have (1) conducted operational casework within the past five years, (2) uses (or have used) a categorical conclusion scale (e.g., SWGTREAD 2013), and (3) are proficient in English.
Participation and results anonymity will be maintained through multiple levels of data anonymization and data segregation. Results will also be coded in a way that will allow participants to see their individual anonymized results after the completion of the study, if they so choose.
The test is expected to be available to participants Fall 2021.
Researchers at the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) are working together with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create a research database with realistic crime scene-like impressions. This database aims to enable the development of algorithms to aid practitioners as they carry out their examinations. To ensure that the database includes impressions relevant to the community, CSAFE is asking for your help.
The following survey will allow CSAFE to collect information about the type of impressions footwear examiners encounter as they complete casework. Your survey responses will guide the types of case-like impressions to be included in the research database. Responses will not be shared with anyone and will be used to understand which types of footwear evidence are the most commonly encountered.
Survey of Methods for Characterizing Footwear Evidence:
More about CSAFE footwear research:
On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a statement regarding the September 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST”) report titled, Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature Comparison Methods. According to DOJ, the report "contained several fundamentally erroneous claims. Among them were that 'feature comparison' methods belong to the scientific discipline of metrology (measurement science); that feature comparison methods can only be deemed 'foundationally valid' by adhering to PCAST’s mandatory and non-severable set of experimental design criteria; and that error rates for feature comparison methods can only be established using these 'appropriately designed' black box studies.
Access both the abstract and statement at DOJ's Forensic Science site.