Objective Arson Report Writing: Collaborating with Law Enforcement and Navigating Bias
Date & Time
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Scott Kuhlman Justin Russell

This arson investigation course teaches fire investigators to write impartial, comprehensive documentation adhering to NFPA guidelines and standards. Instructor Kuhlman, a fire investigator with Orange County Fire Authority, and Russell, an arson detective with Irvine Police, will provide guidance on collaborating with law enforcement when investigating arson incidents, including properly handling juvenile suspects. Students will learn best practices for using the scientific method to objectively determine a fire's origin and cause and reduce the influence of bias. Course topics include understanding relevant criminal charges, appropriately utilizing CALCRIM instructions and definitions, developing partnerships with police/investigators, and implementing bias-reduction strategies. The interactive course aims to equip students with the skills to produce arson investigation documentation that withstands legal scrutiny, while fostering constructive relationships with law enforcement. Upon completion, students will be prepared to write comprehensive, impartial arson findings in cooperation with police agencies and prosecutors.