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UCC Department of Forensic Sciences Trains Fire Officers in Forensic Investigations

The Department of Forensic Sciences of University of Cape Coast, has held a workshop on Forensic Fire Investigation for personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).

The training aimed at equipping officers of the Service with the requisite skills to conduct forensic investigation into incidents of fire and determine the true courses of such happenings.

Participants for the workshop were made up of a team of top officers from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in the central region, lecturers and some students from the Department of Forensic Sciences. Officers who came from the National headquarters of GNFS included DCFO Julius Kuunuor, Director of Finance and Administration; DCFO Obeng Dankwa Dwamena, Director of Human Resource, DCFO Patrick Donkor, Director of Investigations, ACFO Paa Kwesi Adutwum, Chief Staff Officer, and DOI James Oheneba Yaw Kwarteng, Staff Officer.

In a speech read on behalf of the Provost, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Prof. Livingstone K. Sam-Amoah by the Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, Prof. Justice Sarfo, he said it was unfortunate that the security and law enforcement agencies of Ghana have had to mostly rely on foreign experts to help investigate some high-level criminal activities and arson in the country.

Prof. Sam-Amoah said with globalisation and technological advancements, criminals have devised means of mastering the art of committing and covering up their activities to the extent that it has become difficult for such crimes to be uncovered.

He indicated it is for that reason the University of Cape Coast in 2015 established the Department of Forensic Sciences and mandated it to train forensic experts to remediate their eminent scarcity and also to augment the justice delivery system.

The Provost of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences announced that, the Department of Forensic Sciences would introduce a split-site Master of Science programme in Forensic Sciences between UCC and Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in India in the 2019/2020 academic year.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Julius Kuunuor, admitted that technological advancement had made firefighting and investigations more complex, hence the need to employ tact and dexterity to unravel the causes of these happenings.

The Head of the Department of Forensic Sciences, Dr. Richmond Afoakwah, appealed to some of the top hierarchy officers of Ghana National Fire Service present at the workshop to engage the services of the pioneer students after they graduate next year to help address the current challenges of investigating cases the Service has highlighted to the Department.