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Houston County Courier - Local News

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Dead body not real
Houston County Courier

Rumors about a dead body were flying in Crockett last week, but thanks to a forensic photography class based at the Houston County Justice Center, they were unfounded. Some folks heard that a dead body had been found at the Mary Allen College building, and that the individual had been there for a couple of days. Other folks driving by the site simply wondered why there were several law enforcement vehicles there and people walking around with cameras. What these citizens witnessed was a group of law enforcement personnel learning to take forensic photographs at a mock murder scene. That’s right. There was no real dead body. A five-day law enforcement class titled Forensic Photography was held in Crockett. Nineteen law enforcement personnel attended the class which ended on Friday, Feb. 25. Officers and support personnel came from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Pearland Police Department, Lufkin Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and several other agencies. The class was taught by Dan Zientek, a certified instructor with the Texas Engineering Extension Service in partnership with Texas A&M University. Zientek has been in law enforcement for 19 years and currently serves as a detective with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in the Major Crimes Unit. Zientek is certified through the Professional Photographers of America. Today, PPA is the world’s largest non-profit association for professional photographers, with more than 20,000 members in 54 countries. Students were taught the newest techniques involving the latest in photographic equipment. The week-long course focused on the photography of a crime scene and how to effectively present the photographs to prosecutors and to the court. The class was set up by Susie Hammond, training coordinator and grant writer for the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.


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