Coughlan Award 1

“CSI”On The Cutting Edge in Victoria

Two area Police Officers, one from the Saanich Police Department and another from the Victoria Police Department were recognized for excellence in the field of Forensic Science on October 19, 2013, at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)conference, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Constable Shane Couglan of the Saanich Police Department Forensic Identification Section received his award for Innovation In Forensic Technology.

The IACP selection awards committee wrote:

“Constable Shane Couglan of the Saanich Police Department has developed and implemented an innovative technique to increase the visualization of ninhydrin developed fingerprints obscured by common pen ink. His ingenuity has been instrumental in advancing numerous investigations.

Traditionally, when developing fingerprints on paper, the protein dye ninhydrin is used which produces a purple-coloured fingerprint. Often times, the evidence item is a note that has been written with common pen ink which can obscure the detail in a fingerprint, reducing the opportunity to make an identification. Constable Coughlan experimented with several methods of fading or eliminating the pen ink in order to better visualize the underlying fingerprints. Ultimately, Constable Coughlan developed a technique to fade the pen ink without degrading the ninhydrin print using acetone, and he successfully published his findings in the Journal of Forensic Identification in 2012. His contributions and methods have benefited not only his forensic disclipline, but also the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases.”

Saanich Police Department Chief Constable Mike Chadwick stated “The commitment and ingenuity displayed by Cst. Coughlan in the development of this process is outstanding.   This development will allow our officers, as well as officers around the world, a greater opportunity to make an identification of suspect fingerprints. We are extremely proud of Shane and are pleased that he has been recognized for his efforts. Our personnel from the Forensic Identification Section provide exemplary service to our investigative units every day. We are fortunate to have a very talented group of individuals.”

Coughlan Award 1

Retired Detective Bob Elder, who recently retired from the Victoria Police Department, received an award for Significant Investigative Value In A Major Crime.

The IACP Selection Committee wrote:

“In his past six years with the Computer Forensics Unit of the Victoria Police Department, Detective Constable Bob Elder has been instrumental in solving numerous crimes through the development and application of innovative data recovery techniques. Detective Constable Elder is internationally recognized for his skill in forensic data recovery, and the investigative methods that he has executed on cell phones has wide-ranging implications for law enforcement investigations.

When traditional forensic examination methods have been unsuccessful in recovering data from evidence such as broken circuit boards, cellular phones, and destroyed hard drives, Detective Constable Elder was able to extract valuable data that ultimately resulted in successful prosecutions. He has presented his work in court as an expert and trained throughout North America.

The advancements in computers and cellular telephone technology are swift and complex. Detective Constable Elder strives to be ahead of the technological developments while instructing and working with law enforcement agencies in order to assist with the recovery of valuable case information. His individual efforts as well as the training that he has provided to law enforcement agencies worldwide has advanced the utility of forensic data recovery practices in ways that will be appreciated for years to come”.

Chief Constable Chadwick further stated ““I learned after speaking with the Vollmer Award Selection Committee that there were hundreds of submissions from all over the world that were considered. The fact that two officers from the Greater Victoria region were selected to receive awards in the forensic discipline is extremely unique. Both Shane and Bob should be proud of their achievements”.


Sgt. Steve Eassie #158

Scroll to Top
Skip to content