“[Forensic locksmithing] is the study and systematic examination of a lock or other security device or associated equipment using scientific methods to determine if and how the device was opened, neutralized, or bypassed. These examinations include the use of various types of forensic techniques, […] and includes microscopic examination, microphotography, regular photography, physical disassembly of the device or devices, and on occasion laboratory techniques, such as metallurgy and tool mark identification may be conducted.”
-Don Shiles, Former President, Intl. Assoc. of Investigative Locksmiths http://lockpickingforensics.com/forensic_locksmithing.php
What is a forensic locksmith?
Forensic locksmith is a relatively recent field in locksmithing. It is a part of investigative work that helps the law enforcement, and private and government detective agencies to help solve crimes. It is also known as investigative locksmith.
Locksmith services of a forensic locksmith
The job of a locksmith is to analyze locks and security systems that are present on the crime scene so that they may help gather evidence for the crime. They have different methods and tools for doing this. They determine what the method of entry of the criminal was. The tools that criminals and the skills required to break into the area. They will try to find any evidence that they through such investigations to help identify and catch suspects or find any other such information. A forensic locksmith does not solve the cases themselves as that is the job of the detective or the investigating officer. Rather, they aid the investigating person in whatever way they can by analyzing the locks and security systems.
Other than that, forensic locksmiths also take care of regular security maintenance and management for private and government agencies to keep their building secure. They look into areas of security weaknesses and help remove them. They perform security research and penetration testing as well, as part of their duties.
How to become a Certified Forensic Locksmith (CFL)?
Currently, International Association of Investigative Locksmiths (IAIL) is the only institution which offers certification to become a forensic locksmith. Whatever guidelines you require are also provided by CFL.
Applicants much be a member of IAIL for at least 1 year before applying for CFL certification.
You need to attend classes before you can take the exam for CFL certification. These classes’ award points and a total of 75 points from these classes are required in order to sit for the CFL certification examination. These are classes:
- Investigative Locksmithing I, II, & III *
- Auto Theft/Arson classes *
- Professional By-Pass Techniques
- Simplex Manipulation
- Forensic Locksmithing
- Safe Opening
- Covert CCTV
- Automotive Specialties (Columns & Locks)
- Safe Servicing & Safe Manipulation
The exam is for 3 hours and has 125 questions. A forensic locksmith can have a very exciting career which is why it has become very popular recently.