Participants in the Wildlife Crime Scene Investigation Course at the Police Academy in Dar es Salaam examine evidence collected during a hands-on training recently. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Embassy)
U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Office of Law Enforcement, conducted a hands-on Wildlife Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Course at the Police Academy in Dar es Salaam to provide enhanced skills to target and disrupt wildlife poaching and trafficking networks in Tanzania.
Training participants included members of the Government of Tanzania’s National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU), the Tanzanian Police Force, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), as well as investigators from the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and other wildlife management officials.
Based on standard crime scene investigation practices, the course taught participants how to approach a wildlife crime scene, and provided training in evidence collection, maintaining the chain of custody, and documentation, among other areas. In addition, the U.S. Government donated ten crime scene evidence collection kits to the agencies participating in the course; each kit included a camera, DNA sample collection kits, evidence sealing bags, chain of custody forms and seizure evidence tags.
The Wildlife CSI Course represents one part of a larger and comprehensive USG wildlife anti-trafficking initiative. The course, which was also conducted in Uganda from November 28-December 2, was developed after the U.S. Department of Interior’s International Technical Assistance Program conducted a wildlife trafficking assessment in 2015 and identified the need to institute crime scene management practices in East Africa. The non-governmental organization PAMS Foundation assisted with implementing the project on the ground, and previously funded the same course, along with FWS, in May 2016. (For more information, please see the related press release: https://tanzania.usembassy.gov/pr_05122016.html).