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District DetectivesJail Crimes UnitForensic Art

What is Forensic Art

Forensic art is a tool used in criminal investigations, which helps to capture persons who have committed crimes, and also aids in the identification of victims who are deceased.   Drawings or sculptures are formulated by the forensic artist to produce images such as a witness’s verbal description of an offender, or a face that has been reconstructed using human remains.   Numerous law enforcement officials find forensic art of great benefit, as using this type of art can assist in the apprehension and prosecution of suspects.   It is expected that the use of forensic art will increase in the future due to greater options available to the forensic artist, with computer capabilities playing a paramount role.

What do Forensic Artist Do?
Forensic artists take information, which has been gathered by themselves, or others, and they produce a visual representation of this information. Some examples of this type of art include, but are not limited to:

1) Drawings or Composite sketches: these aid law enforcement personnel to determine the identity of missing persons, kidnappers, etc.

2) Reconstruction: this type of art is helpful when trying to determine the identity of a deceased party, and is used largely when partial or total human remains are gathered.

3) Age Progressions: used when outdated pictures are the only source of information available. Age progressions are widely used in locating missing children or fugitives at large.

As one can see from the above information, forensic artists rely on, and work in conjunction with other officers, specialists, and relatives of victims. Forensic artists must be knowledgeable, precise, and have an adequate amount of talent and training in the field. They must also recognize that their efforts are extremely valuable in the law enforcement arena.