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Indiana State Police Presents 2015 Forensic Scientist Of The Year Award
Updated May 5, 2016 6:14 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist of the Year Award is presented annually to a Forensic Scientist within the Laboratory Division deemed to have consistently provided a superior quality forensic analysis service in a highly professional, proficient and unbiased manner for the Indiana Criminal Justice Community.

Forensic Scientist Melissa Oberg's accomplishments in 2015 are worthy of such recognition and have earned her this award. The 2015 award was recently presented to Oberg and the below information outlines her outstanding work that resulted in this acknowledgement.

In 2015, Forensic Firearms Identification Unit Forensic Scientist Melissa Oberg completed 269 cases involving 1,698 laboratory examinations. During these examinations she performed 1,160 microscopic comparisons, which exceeded the Forensic Firearms Identification Unit average of 773 comparisons. Her case turnaround time from date of submission to completion was 82 days, which was below the Forensic Firearms Identification Unit average of 91 days. Mrs. Oberg produced results of the highest quality and successfully completed all proficiency and competency testing. She volunteered to work 11 rush cases and 5 police-action shootings, and she completed 129 technical and administrative reviews of other analysts' and supervisors' casework.

In 2015, Forensic Scientist Oberg assisted the Forensic Firearms Identification Unit to branch out into Field Support. After completing a Shooting Scene Reconstruction School, she was instrumental in the establishment of proper field documentation protocols that changed how laboratory forensic scientists provide field services in order to better assist local and Indiana State Police Crime Scene Investigators.

In addition, Forensic Scientist Oberg was assigned as the lead trainer in educating a new employee in the field of Firearms Identification. She coordinated the training with the National Firearm Examiners Academy, was solely responsible for this individuals training locally, and is now subsequently reviewing the analytical examinations of this new employee's casework. This assignment took a considerable amount of time, research, and coordination to complete in a successful manner.

Forensic Scientist Oberg is a member of the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) Board of Directors, and she also serves as the AFTE treasurer. AFTE is an international association with worldwide membership. She regularly interacts with the AFTE members by handling payments, bills, and answering questions. She handles inquiries involving the AFTE Journal and is a voting member of the Board of Directors. In addition, she sits on the Professional Investors Committee for AFTE, which involves decisions regarding a scholarship endowment and areas in which AFTE invests its assets. In short, Forensic Scientist Oberg is responsible for the day-to-day fiscal operation of this Association, whose assets total nearly $700,000.

Forensic Scientist Oberg has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from St. Joseph College where she was also a collegiate athlete, playing on the tennis team. She started employment with the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division in January 2006 at the Lowell Regional Laboratory as a member of the Drug Unit. In November 2006, she was hired as one of the first civilian Firearms Examiners assigned to the Forensic Firearms Identification Unit in the Laboratory Division. She is also a certified Fellow by the American Board of Criminalistics and is certified by the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners in the area of Firearms Identification.

Melissa resides with her husband Chris in Indianapolis.



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