Staff Profile - Keith Howard
Senior Lecturer, Forensic Science
Canberra Institute of Technology
I was a federal agent with the Australian Federal Police for over 18 years, where I worked as a crime scene investigator, forensic services operations manager and bomb scene manager. I worked on a number of joint taskforces whilst with the AFP and since leaving the AFP I have consulted on forensic issues to a number of federal and NSW departments. I have taught forensics at CIT for over 20 years, in full-time and part-time capacities.
Today I mostly teach on CIT distance courses. The majority of my students are members of Australian and international police forces that I teach in the areas of crime scene investigation, bomb scene examination, fire investigation, comparative analysis and court presentation of evidence.
The area I enjoy teaching the most is the court presentation of evidence. The way I see it is that there are two main skill sets our students must acquire: the technical skills to do the work, and just as importantly, the skills to present their findings as professional, ethical and persuasive evidence in court. Without the latter, all the days, months or even years spent investigating a case means nothing if the jury doesn't believe or value the evidence it is given.
What I enjoy most about teaching is seeing a student 'get it' - that sudden realisation when everything makes sense to them and they understand the ideas and the reasoning behind a technique or approach.
I think a CIT qualification in forensics is an indication to others that the training behind the piece of paper is the type of training that industry wants.