Forensic Institute for Research and Education

The Checklist for Optimal Preservation of Scene (COPS) App.

The Checklist for Optimal Preservation of Scene (COPS) app is funded by the Department of Justice award (2011-DB-BX-0102) and is a collaboration product of FIRE, LifeWings Partners LLC, WillowTree Apps Inc., and national subject matter experts (SMEs). The development team SMEs all possess field experience in law enforcement, criminal law, or law enforcement training. The lead SME serves as the principal expert on the NIJ/BJA/NIST Crime Scene Guide Update project (BJA 2010-DD-BX-K009).

Please review the requirements for officers participating in testing period.

Participants MUST:

  • Serve as an active duty United States law enforcement officer
  • Be iPhone or Android OS platform user and provide his/her device IP number to download app
  • Have as a job duty to be a first responding officer to a crime scene
  • Obtain the permission of his/her Chief of Police, Sheriff, or agency director
  • Continue to adhere to department's current crime scene policies and procedures while using the app
  • Commit to testing time from of March 1 through March 30, 2013
  • Use the app on a minimum of two (2) crime scenes during testing period
  • Complete an online training tutorial of app usage (approximately 2 hours)
  • Complete survey at the end of the testing period
  • Complete registration form

Following the testing period, participants will:

  • Keep the app (free!)
  • Be sent a testing period update of the app (free!)
  • Receive $100 stipend upon completion of requirements and survey (this stipend is limited to the first 100 qualified participants)
  • Help law enforcement across the nation facilitate the documentation of the initial crime scene for crime scene processing unit and investigators

Please click here to register as a participant.

If you have additional questions, please contact Karen Austin, DOJ Grant Coordinator at 615-494-7971 or

Click links below for a profile of the development team.

COPS Development Team:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Hugh Berryman D-ABFA, FIRE (Murfreesboro, TN)
Process and training consultants (sub-contractor): LifeWings Partners, LLC (Memphis, TN)
App design and development (sub-contractor): WillowTree Apps, Inc. (Charlottesville, VA)
Lead Subject Matter Expert: Frank Fitzpatrick, Forensic Management Consulting (Placentia, CA)
Subject Matter Expert: Kelly Ayers, WVU Forensic Science Initiative (Morgantown, WV)
Subject Matter Expert: James W. Kirby, TN District Attorneys Association (Nashville, TN)
Subject Matter Expert: Joe Siefferman, Buckeye Police Department (Buckeye, AZ)
Subject Matter Expert: Jason Wilkerson, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (Nashville, TN)