Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences

What is CAFS

The Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences, was initiated in 2012 by Dr. Alfredo Walker and Inspector Gregory Williams and the Founding Executive was established November 18, 2015 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus Jamaica. The CAFS is a registered charity since November 2018 and is the only forensic science association in the Caribbean.

Our goals will be to ensure that the respective standards of practice in all the forensic disciplines in the region are internationally acceptable, thereby promoting public confidence in the Criminal Justice systems of the various Caribbean territories. We aim to promote professionalism, integrity, competence and the application of evidence-based, best practices; to invoke rigorous quality control; to encourage collaboration amongst the Forensic Science disciplines, the Criminal Justice System and to foster and support opportunities for original research, professional networking and continuing professional development.

Our Association represents a variety of forensic disciplines including: Fingerprint Examination, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Firearms Examination, Forensic Photography, Forensic Laboratory Analysis, Questioned Documents, Firearms and Toolmark Examination, Digital Evidence, Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Nursing, Forensic Odontology, Forensic Accounting, Forensic Pathology, Forensic Psychology, Criminology and General Forensics.

The CAFS aim is to promote synergy, professionalism, integrity and competency and to foster research, publication, best practices and ethics in forensic casework; to promote rigorous quality control and to encourage collaboration between forensic sciences and the criminal justice system.

History

The Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences in conjunction with the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, UK and the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, hosted its inaugural conference July 20-22, 2016. The three-day conference was very successful and was attended by approximately 100 delegates and speakers from various levels of forensic science and medicine in the Caribbean, the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Caribbean representation included Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

The CAFS aim is to promote synergy, professionalism, integrity and competency and to foster research, publication, best practices and ethics in forensic casework; to promote rigorous quality control and to encourage collaboration between forensic sciences and the criminal justice system.

Elected Executives of the Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences

2019 - 2021

President

Insp Gregory Williams

Insp Gregory J Williams DIP CSI Amgnt, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD candidate, Founding member, Director and President of The Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences (CAFS). Founder and Staff advisor UWI Forensic Science Student Association (FSSA)  

Gregory John Williams is an Inspector of Police and a Forensic Scientist in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda. He is also the lead Forensic and Crime Scene trainer at the Sir Wright George Police Academy. Insp Williams is an Adjunct and Forensic lecturer for the Master’s in Forensic Science programme at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Jamaica and is the Course Coordinator for five (5) courses, Crime Scene Management (CSM), Crime Scene Reconstruction (CSR), Crime Scene Reconstruction Labs, Forensic Firearm examinations and Forensic Firearm examinations Labs. Insp Williams is also a Forensic consultant. His Bachelors (Hons) Degree and Postgraduate Degree in Forensic Sciences were obtained from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Staffordshire University England

Insp Williams has over 23 yrs. as a law enforcement officer and is the first police officer within the Caribbean region to hold both a BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees in Forensic Science. He is a Certified Crime Scene Instructor by the Regional Security System (RSS) based in Barbados. He also served in the Staffordshire Police Constabulary as a Special Constable for 3 yrs. Mr. Williams was the valedictorian of the first graduating cohort of the Inter Institutional Training Course on Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, hosted by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Mr. Williams is specialized in the following areas: Blood Spatter Analysis, Crime Scene Investigation, Fingerprint examination, Firearms examination, DNA analysis, Photography and Fire Investigation. He also fulfils the capacity as an Expert Witness in the Courts of Law. Insp Williams has worked on some of the most high-profile cases as the lead Forensic Scientist in Antigua and Barbuda to include the Antigua Honeymoon Murders, the Fly Montserrat Plane Crash, and the Liat Hangar Fire. He also travels to Anguilla where he worked on boat and house fires on several occasions, he also worked on several fires scenes in Jamaica to include vehicle and industry fire. Insp Williams is currently pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus Jamaica. Mr. Williams has presented in several conferences orally and poster. He was invited by United Nations in Peru and presented on the caribbeanization of firearms and recently won the prize for best presentation at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus annual conference.

1st Vice President

Ms Fernanda Henry

  • Employed as Forensic Scientist II (Trace/Serology – 3 years; DNA analyst (6 years) at Saint Lucia Forensic Science Laboratory. Currently serves as the Director, Forensic Science Services at the Saint Lucia Forensic Science Laboratory
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Forensic Biology from Laurentian University, Sudbury Ontario, Canada
  • Masters of Science in Forensic DNA from Oklahoma State University, Tulsa Oklahoma, USA
  • Associate Member (Criminalistics) of American Academy of Forensic Scientists
  • Worked as DNA Technical Leader at Helix Genetic and Scientific Solutions Ltd
  • Alumni of St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School; Principal’s Award; Outstanding House Captain
  • Former Teacher of Chemistry, Biology, Human and Social Biology, Integrated Science and singing at SJC (assisting with Choir, Drama and Carnival Princess)
  • Vocalist with X-tent band for 5 years; Junior Calypso Queen 1995; Winner of Radio St. Lucia’s SunQuest Singing Competition in 1998; Silver medalist at World Championships of the Performing Arts, CA in 1999; Choir director of St Michael’s Chorale for 15 years; active in Youth and Music Ministry all her life;
  • Dramatist and playwright (church musicals)

2nd Vice President

Mrs. Esther Thomas-Hodge

Mrs. Esther Thomas-Hodge is a Senior Crime Scene Investigator in the Scenes of Crime Unit within the Royal Anguilla Police Force, where Esther coordinates the day to day processes and manages Scenes of Crime teams in Major Incidents. She is a graduate from The School of Biomedical Sciences at Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England with a BSc in Forensics Science and has been in her current employment for the past 12 years. Esther is also the Anguilla’s representative for the Forensics Sub Working Group for the British Overseas Territories.

Secretary & Founding Member

Ms Hillary Mullings

Hillary A. Mullings is a Forensic Scientist with nineteen years of experience attached to the Biology Department in the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine situated in Kingston, Jamaica. She was awarded a Master’s of Science degree in Forensic Science from the University of Staffordshire, United Kingdom and currently holds the position of Chief Forensic Officer at the Institute. Her responsibilities include crime scene processing, serological analysis of physical evidence and giving expert testimony in court.

Hillary prepares and conducts training workshops in Crime Scene Management, in-house training for members of the Biology department, and conduct presentations on forensic science to groups and individuals. She also conducts lectures in forensic biology at The Jamaica Police Staff College on their scene of crime training course and conduct presentations and workshops to police officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the military police of the Jamaica Defense Force. She also provided training at the Justice Training Institute for court personnel.

Hillary is an Adjunct Lecturer in Forensic Serology and Trace Evidence at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus in the Masters of Forensic Science degree programme. Hillary is also a Secretary and Founding Member of the Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences (CAFS) and former Public Relations Officer.

Asst. Secretary

Ms Krystal James

Founding Member and Assistant Secretary of CAFS

Krystal James is a Trinidad-born Forensic Scientist.  Ms. James is a graduate of the University of the Southern Caribbean, Maracus St. Joseph, where she received a BSc in Biology. An accumulation of her early interest in science and law, combined with her curiosity and being an avid problem solver, steered her into the choice of an exciting career. Ms. James then furthered her studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica in the field of Forensic Science specializing in Molecular Biology. Exploring fields in Forensic Science, Ms. James had a greater interest in Death Investigation. Ms. James was afforded an internship opportunity at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Manhattan, New York under the Investigative Unit. As a Forensic Scientist/Death Investigator Ms. James continues to attend Forensic Science Conferences, sharing her research while learning from others. Ms. James gives Forensic Science lectures to High School students in her country in an effort to promote study in this field. Ms James would like to see better Forensic Science practices in all fields throughout the Caribbean. This would aim towards a reduction in crime, using Science to serve Justice.

Treasurer

Ms Trineita Gordon

Trineita Gordon graduated from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica (UWI, Mona Campus) in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Biology. She also achieved a Master of Science in Forensic Science (Molecular Biology) at UWI, Mona. She currently works as a Forensic Officer at the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine in Jamaica. 

Assistant Treasurer & Founding Member

Dr Christine Walters

Christine A. Walters, PhD currently lectures in Epidemiology and (Bio-) Statistics at the University of the West Indies (UWI, Mona Campus) in various programs at the undergraduate through to graduate levels, including the Master of Science (MSc) program in Forensic Sciences. She also serves as a Health Research Scientist in the Health Research and Resource Unit, Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS), UWI, with duties including reviewing research proposals for the university-wide Ethics Committee as well as providing research assistance (from study design to data analysis) to both medical students and faculty. In addition to the applications of statistics in Forensic Science, personal research interests include social determinants of health and multi-level modeling.

Dr Walters is an active member of the Jamaica Statistical Society (launched November 2013) and currently chairs the Planning Committee for the FMS Annual Research Conference and Workshops. She convened the Organizing Committee for the Forensic Science Special Issue Journal comprising fellow lecturers in the MSc Forensic Science program with the aim of highlighting selected student research since the first cohort was received in the 2010/11 academic year. In recent years, she also served on the Board of Directors of the e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited (March 2012 – March 2016).

Dr Walters has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with first class honors, a Master of Science in Biostatistics and a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology. She studied locally at UWI as well as in the United States at the Medical University of South Carolina. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies and joining the UWI faculty, she worked as an Actuarial Assistant and then as a Biostatistician in the Jamaica Ministry of Health’s Health Promotion and Protection Division.

PR Officer

Ms Tanesha Fagan

Tanesha Fagan is currently employed as a Forensic Investigator to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), Jamaica. Her responsibilities include Crime Scene Management and providing expert witness testimony in court. She was awarded with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from the Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica and subsequently a Master of Science in Forensic Science (Hons, Forensic Molecular Biology) from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. This includes DNA Analysis, Forensic Serology and Crime Scene Management.

Tanesha has received training as a Cybercrime First Responder and in Firearm Functionality and Test Firing.  She also received certified training in Crime Scene Management and Forensics conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) at the International Law Enforcement Academy, El Salvador.

She is an active member of the International Association of Identification. She had also received a travel award to the International Association of Forensic Science Conference (2017) in Toronto where she did a poster presentation on her thesis “Y-STR Genetic Structure of the Most Common Surnames in Jamaica: Forensic Implications”.

Asst. PR Officer

Ms Rhonelle Buntyn

Rhonelle Buntyn is an aspiring Forensic Scientist from the island of St Vincent and the Grenadines. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree with First Class Honours in Forensic Science from the University of Kent in 2014 and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science from King’s College London in 2018. Being from a small island in the Caribbean, she aspires, with the help of God, to elevate her country by developing the Forensic Science field to the standard set by developed countries. She has ensured that she is equipped for the task at hand by remaining adept in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, studying at the best Forensic universities in the United Kingdom, and connecting to established experts in the Caribbean in her field. 

In her spare time she reads leisurely, researches on topics of interests, dances in various locations with her fellow dance ministers, and devotes time to her Youth groups.

Ordinary Member

Mr. Kwensi Diaz

Kwensi Diaz is an Analytical and Forensic Service Specialist presently employed with Western Scientific Company Limited, located in Chaguanas Trinidad and Tobago, in servicing the instrumentation needs of academia and corporate organizations.

A true son of the soil, he graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Management. He then went on to complete a M.Sc. in Forensic Sciences with a Specialization in Toxicology.

Kwensi has worked in both the public and private sectors, working at the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission for many years in the Information Technology Department before delving into the field of Forensic Sceince as a Specialist.

Kwensi is passionate about contributing professionally and socially to the Caribbean Community and seeks to align himself with professional bodies where he will be able to learn and support in the field of Forensic Science.

Ordinary Member

Mrs Tamika Henry-Fraser

Tamika Henry-Fraser began her professional career as a Forensic Laboratory Technician at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Guyana Police Force before she was contracted as the Deputy Director at the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory to guide the development, resource building and evidence handling capacity of Guyana’s new, state-of-the-art forensic laboratory. She manages the team of analysts and other technical personnel, as well as creates polices, manuals and procedures that govern the day to day operations of the laboratory. Under her stewardship, her team has developed, adopted, validated and implemented multiple analytical techniques and best practices to examine crime scenes and evidence in Forensic Biology, Drug Analysis, Toxicology, Trace Evidence, Questioned Documents and Forensic Video.

As a result of her unique role within Guyana’s Ministry of Public Security, formally titled Senior Science Officer, Mrs Henry-Fraser has had the opportunity to train and become certified in multiple forensic disciplines, including completing a Master of Science degree at the University of Florida where her research focused on Forensic Serology & DNA; specifically, on the relevance and applicability of emerging forensic technology, such as Rapid DNA systems, in the Guyana and the Caribbean region. Today she is recognised as a Government of Guyana gazetted analyst who presents expert testimony in court, as well as a “Force of Change” in security and disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean by UNLIREC.

This year Tamika was awarded one of the 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs and 25 Most Influential Women Leaders in Guyana as a result of her personal work as the CEO of Curl Fete (the largest natural hair & beauty expo in the region) as well as a pro-women’s empowerment media personality and brand ambassador on radio and TV for Digicel, Ansa McAL and other companies.

Student Representative

Ms Daniel Black

BBMS Anatomy (Hons)
MSc Forensic Pathology (pending)
President of The UWI Forensic Science Student Association 

Our Board of Directors

Board of Director

Professor Wayne McLaughlin

President

Insp Gregory Williams

Insp Gregory J Williams DIP CSI Amgnt, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD candidate, Founding member, Director and President of The Caribbean Association of Forensic Sciences (CAFS). Founder and Staff advisor UWI Forensic Science Student Association (FSSA)  

Gregory John Williams is an Inspector of Police and a Forensic Scientist in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda. He is also the lead Forensic and Crime Scene trainer at the Sir Wright George Police Academy. Insp Williams is an Adjunct and Forensic lecturer for the Master’s in Forensic Science programme at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Jamaica and is the Course Coordinator for five (5) courses, Crime Scene Management (CSM), Crime Scene Reconstruction (CSR), Crime Scene Reconstruction Labs, Forensic Firearm examinations and Forensic Firearm examinations Labs. Insp Williams is also a Forensic consultant. His Bachelors (Hons) Degree and Postgraduate Degree in Forensic Sciences were obtained from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Staffordshire University England

Insp Williams has over 23 yrs. as a law enforcement officer and is the first police officer within the Caribbean region to hold both a BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees in Forensic Science. He is a Certified Crime Scene Instructor by the Regional Security System (RSS) based in Barbados. He also served in the Staffordshire Police Constabulary as a Special Constable for 3 yrs. Mr. Williams was the valedictorian of the first graduating cohort of the Inter Institutional Training Course on Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, hosted by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Mr. Williams is specialized in the following areas: Blood Spatter Analysis, Crime Scene Investigation, Fingerprint examination, Firearms examination, DNA analysis, Photography and Fire Investigation. He also fulfils the capacity as an Expert Witness in the Courts of Law. Insp Williams has worked on some of the most high-profile cases as the lead Forensic Scientist in Antigua and Barbuda to include the Antigua Honeymoon Murders, the Fly Montserrat Plane Crash, and the Liat Hangar Fire. He also travels to Anguilla where he worked on boat and house fires on several occasions, he also worked on several fires scenes in Jamaica to include vehicle and industry fire. Insp Williams is currently pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus Jamaica. Mr. Williams has presented in several conferences orally and poster. He was invited by United Nations in Peru and presented on the caribbeanization of firearms and recently won the prize for best presentation at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus annual conference.

CAFS Mission Statement

The CAFS is a not-for-profit Regional professional organization dedicated to the promotion, advancement and guidance on all aspects of forensic sciences and its inherent disciplines for the Caribbean Region (defined as all islands of the Caribbean region and includes Belize, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana and Bermuda).

 CAFS Vision Statement

To be established as a regional organization of all forensic and medicolegal practitioners in the Caribbean region and to function as the professional regional voice and supportive organization of all forensic and medicolegal practitioners. 

Membership

 

 Membership Benefits

Membership fees and how to join

Current members of the CAFS will have access to the following benefits:

Reduced fees for Conference and Educational workshops, Praxis put on by CAFS

Bi-annual Newsletters

Voting Rights at Annual General Meeting

CAFS members are entitled to and encouraged to access the CAFS Constitution and Bylaws

Network opportunities will be encouraged and provided

Continuing Educational (CE) credits/certificates for attendance and participation in educational activities

Opportunities to submit article for publication in newsletter

 

Membership Categories

Student Membership is for a full or part time university student majoring in forensic science, medicolegal field and law enforcement. Applicants must include a letter or current transcript from their educational institution certifying the applicant is currently taking at least 10 semester credits or the equivalent in quarter credits for undergraduate study. At least 7 semester credits or the equivalent in quarter credits is needed for graduate study applicants. The letter must state the number of credits being taken. The words “full-time student” will not suffice.

Professional Membership is for an individual actively engaged as an examiner, analyst, practitioner, or supervisor in the forensic sciences, law enforcement and medicolegal field. The term “professionally engaged” is defined as an individual’s principal professional endeavor or an ancillary enterprise comprising a significant amount of professional activity.

Associate Membership is for an individual wholly or partially engaged in the forensic sciences, law enforcement and medicolegal field who is not qualified for Professional Membership. Associate members are subject to the same rules, fees, and charges, and are entitled to all rights and privileges of Active membership, with the exception that they are not entitled to hold the office of President or Vice President of the CAFS.

Sustaining Associate Membership is for an individual who meets the defined criteria as stated above for Associate Membership and prefers to make one payment (which is 10 times the current annual dues amount) and eliminates the requirement of annual dues.

Corporate-Affiliate membership This category of membership is open to registered companies operating in the field of forensic science, have an interest in the work of Forensic Sciences, or whose business underpins the work of forensic sciences in the Region.

Membership Requirements

Membership of the CAFS is open to individuals over the age of 18 years who are currently undertaking relevant undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, are practitioners in any of the disciplines of Forensic Sciences, or are practitioners in an affiliated field of study or practice.

Membership is extended to retired practitioners who wish to remain engaged in the field.

Membership is by application and is subject to an annual subscription as agreed by the Executive Council.

 

Eligibility of applications will be assessed with set criteria and are approved by the Executive Council. All applicants must be willing to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws, agree to the CAFS Code of Conduct, and must maintain an active interest in the activities of the CAFS.

Membership is offered at four levels:

Student membership

Professional membership

Associate membership

Corporate-Affiliate membership

 

The fields that are eligible for membership are as follows:

  • Anthropology
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Body Fluid Analysis
  • Ballistics and trajectory analysis
  • Clinical Forensic Medicine
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Drug chemistry
  • Environmental Forensics
  • Explosives Investigation
  • Financial Fraud
  • Fingerprint Examination
  • Firearms
  • Fire/Arson Investigation
  • Forensic Audiology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Engineering
  • Forensic Histology
  • Forensic Interface Management
  • Forensic Nursing
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Criminalistics
  • Cyber Forensics
  • Digital Forensics (hardware)
  • Digital Forensics (software)
  • DNA Analysis
  • Document Analysis
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Forensic Photography
  • Forensic Psychology/Psychiatry
  • Forensic Statistics/ Epidemiology
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • General Forensics
  • Graphology
  • Isotopic Analysis
  • Ink and Print Analysis
  • Jurisprudence
  • Laboratory Quality Assurance
  • Laboratory Management
  • Marks & Trace Analysis Forensic
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