Northeast Forensic Training Center

The Northeast Forensic Training Center (NFTC) is your regional training hub for cost effective, high quality, hands-on law enforcement training. NFTC'S original mission was to provide first responders with basic forensic training to effectively collect and preserve crime scene evidence. Since its inception in 2009, the NFTC has proudly served over 150 national and international agencies by providing them with scientifically based forensic training.

NFTC's mission has evolved to become the regional source of all law enforcement and training in the Mid-Atlantic region. The NFTC has expanded with the launch of new courses on computer forensics, criminal investigations, law enforcement seminars and administrative programs to meet core training needs of any law enforcement agency. We continuously work with law enforcement leaders to identify key programs that are critical to enhancing the effectiveness of these agencies and develop new programs on demand or contracted with industry leading practitioners to meet those needs.

Upcoming Courses  

Basic Crime Scene Photography for the First Responder

Digital photography has become an extremely important part of criminal investigations. Under or over exposed images are useless in bringing an investigation to a successful resolution. This course will focus on the theories and practices in the "basic principles" of digital photography as it relates to law enforcement, medicolegal death investigators, and fire investigators. Following the National Acadmey of Sciences report, increased attention into fundamental forensics has been made by defense attorneys. Upon completion of this course, the student will have an understanding of digital file management procedures, proper methods of documenting a crime scene, accepted procedures for 1st responder photography, review the different camera settings, and understand image documentation in "low light" environments typically encountered. Students will have several short practical exercises and a crime scene photography exercise. Students should expect some graphic images in the course presentation. Our past experience with veteran officers was their surprised at how easy it can be to obtain usable images in low light environments.  This course has been approved for eight (8) hours of continuing education by the Pennsylvania Coroners’ Education Board under the provisions of Act 22 of 1988. ID:

Basic Latent Print Processing for Patrol

Theory and practices in the "Basics" of Latent Print Processing that would be normally encountered by the Patrol Officer or an Investigator starting out. Upon the completion of this course, the student will be able to relate the application of the "Basic" procedures and responsibilities of processing for Latent Prints. These topics include: Definitions and characteristics of fingerprints, Identify the best method to develop latent prints on different surfaces, basic equipment utilized by the Patrol Officer, processing basic surfaces with different fingerprint powders, the proper methods to document the developed latent prints, the collection and preservation of developed latent prints, and report documentation of the latent processing. A written test will conclude the course and evaluate what they have learned.

Basic Medicolegal Death Investigation **Restricted**

This course was developed for the 1st responder, who upon arriving on a scene determines that a death has occurred. The 1st responder can be a law enforcement officer, paramedic/EMT, fire investigator and insurance personnel. Second year NCC Criminal Justice Administration major students will be permitted to attend this training. This basic forensic program will discuss state statutes and what constitutes a death investigation in Pennsylvania, determining time of death and explanations on causes and manners of death. This course will discuss the importance of forensic autopsies and the preservation of evidence in a death investigation. Due to the subject matter and sensitivity of this training, all attendees must be in-service professionals.

Bloodstain Pattern Documentation, Preservation and Collection

This course was designed for Police Officers, Police Investigators/Detectives, EMS Personnel and Medicolegal Death Investigators. Most agencies tasked with investigating violent assaults and death scenes do not have the resources readily available to have practitioners with the proper training and experiences to respond immediately to a crime scene. There are times that the totality of what has occurred is not known at the time the crime scene investigation is being conducted. You normally will not know what pieces of evidence will be critical to properly document, preserve and collect while on scene and have examined later when the resources are available. It is more likely there will be a need to have the evidence you collected, along with the scene documentation, later examined for reconstruction and analysis purposes. Through this course the student will discuss and demonstrate the skills needed to perform these tasks for a more complete investigation.

Tues., Dec. 13, 2022, 8am-5pm, $100
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Bloodstain Pattern Documentation, Preservation and Collection ONLINE

Online, self-paced course. This course has been modified for online delivery. Students are given (7) seven days to complete the course to permit working around your schedule. Completion off all task assignments and test must be completed and submitted within the time permitted. Participants will discuss and demonstrate the foundational skills needed to recognize, document and preserve bloodstain evidence for a more complete investigation. Attendees must be in-service professionals. This course has been submitted for eight (8) hours of continuing education by the Pennsylvania Coroners’ Education Board under the provisions of Act 22 of 1988.  This course has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for eight (8) hours of "other" continuing education for all EMS Levels. Course Number: 1000035048

New! Crime Scene / Death Scene Photography for First Responders – Expanded

Digital Photography has become an extremely important part of criminal investigations. Under or over exposed images are useless in bring an investigation to a successful resolution. This course will focus on the theories and practices in the basic principles of digital photography as it relates to law enforcement, Medicolegal Death Investigators, and fire investigators. Upon the completion of this course, the student will have an understanding of the digital file management procedures, the proper methods of documenting a crime scene, the accepted procedures for first responder photography, review the different camera settings, and understand image documentation in “low light” environments typically encountered. Students will have several short practical exercises and a crime scene photography exercise. A written test will conclude the course to evaluate what they have learned. Students should expect some graphic images. In past courses, veteran officers have been surprised at how easy it can be to obtain usable images in low light environments.

Weds., & Thurs., March 8-9, 2023, times vary, Fowler Center, $175
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Register now!

Crime Scene Initial Response & Management

Theory and practices in the Initial Response to a Crime Scene is to include "real life experiences". Upon the completion of this course, the student will be able to relate the application of procedures and responsibilities of assorted Units, Agencies, and Bureaus conducting the investigation. These topics include: The initial response to the scene; securing the scene; reading the scene; access control; communications; identify witnesses, briefing of arriving personnel; documentation. The students will take part in a group practical Lab exercise and presentation. A written test will conclude the course and evaluate what they have learned. Students should expect some graphic images in the course presentation. This course has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for eight (8) hours of "other" continuing education for all EMS Levels. Course Number: 1000035033.

New! Infant & Child Death Scene Investigations

This course will discuss awareness information and procedures related to recognition and preservation of Infant/Child Death Scenes.  Participants will be able to relate the application of procedures and responsibilities in the investigation of Infant / Child Death Investigations to include doll re-enactments.  Topics include proper documentation, proper packaging and preservation of evidence, investigation requirements, forensics and toxicological studies and Child Death Reviews.  This course will focus on recommended and/or directed investigation Protocols to follow, Scene Processing, Mandated Reporting Information, Death Scene Re-enactments, and Child Death Reviews.

This course is intended to provide awareness level information to enhance understanding of interoperable agency cooperation in order to support comprehensive efforts as it relates to Infant / Child Death Investigations.  Furthermore, this course will bring awareness and clarification to the recommended procedures to process the crime / death scene for later analysis, determination and case resolution.

Two practical lab sessions will be held, to reinforce the course discussion topics followed by a review and discussion.  Participants should expect some graphic images of actual crime scenes as part of the course information.

New! Investigative Report Writing & Search Warrant Application

Investigative Report Writing is an extremely critical aspect of a complete and thorough investigation.  Regardless of your roll or scope as a First Responder, these skills transcend all positions.  Many successful investigations rely on lesser event incident reports generated.  At the same time, many investigations have been drawn out, due to the failure of some to prepare competent Incident reports.  A properly prepared, thorough and complete report can make the difference in bringing an investigation to a successful resolution.  This course will break down the aspects of a good Investigative Report, Search Warrant Application and Criminal Complaints with several practical exercises to develop your writing skills and capabilities.  

Gunshot and Shotgun Crime/Death Scene Investigations

This course will discuss awareness information and procedures related to recognition and preservation of crime scenes.  Participants will be able to relate the application of procedures and responsibilities to the various types of firearms and ammunition used in crime/death scenes.  Topics include: proper documentation, firearm identification and familiarization, ammunition identification and familiarization, proper packaging of evidence, internal, terminal and external ballistics, trajectory and sequencing in glass, and trajectory analysis documentation. Two practical lab sessions will be held, to reinforce the course discussion topics followed by a review and discussion. Participants should expect some graphic images of actual crime scenes as part of the course information.

Verbal De-escalation in Crisis Situations

In today’s current climate it is more important than ever for professionals from a variety of fields to be trained in an effective psychological and experienced based skillset for verbally de-escalating individuals in crisis. This course covers effective techniques for de-escalation of parties who are angry, or in crisis as well as gives a basic education in recognizing and dealing with parties who have mental health conditions or substance use disorders. This course has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for eight (8) hours of "other" continuing education for all EMS Levels. Course Number: 1000035032.

Additional Information

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To be notified of upcoming classes, free events and industry news, please join our list! For questions or to suggest programs, please call 610-332-6596 or email safety@northampton.edu.

The Facility

Our facility located at the Fowler Family Southside Center in Bethlehem includes:

  • Classroom: 1216 sq. ft.
    • Lab: 609 sq. ft.
    • Classroom 570 sq. ft.
  • Computer lab: 420 sq. ft.
  • Scenario apartment: 865 sq. ft.
  • Wet room (for bloodstain pattern): 210 sq. ft.

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Visiting From Outside the Area?

The NFTC is conveniently located near the site of the massive Bethlehem Steel Plant redevelopment project. The project has brought the Wind Creek Casino with outlets, events, and lodging accommodations all within walking distance from the NFTC. The project has also brought Steel Stacks that has been a site for movie productions, such as Transformers Revenge of The Fallen, and the Arts Quest Center with its Levitt Pavilion hosting 50 free community concerts per year. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance. Also, Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom and Coca Cola Park are conveniently located within a short driving distance.