“Have you ever wondered if the popular television show CSI glorifies the field crime laboratories and forensic investigations? University of Akron alumnus Robert Fiatal was recently put in charge of Ohio’s real-life CSI, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.””
Have you ever wondered if the popular television show CSI glorifies the field crime laboratories and forensic investigations?
University of Akron alumnus Robert Fiatal was recently put in charge of Ohio’s real-life CSI, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
It might be as fulfilling to the laboratory technicians when they are successful, however it takes quite a bit more time than the tidy 1-hour resolutions shown on TV, he said.
Fiatal, a 1976 graduate of UA School of Law, recently was appointed superintendent of the Ohio BCII.
Fiatal also has an extensive past in the field of criminal justice. He is a 23-year veteran of the FBI, which culminated into his last position as the supervisory resident agent for the FBI’s Akron bureau.
Most of my experiences in the past (with the FBI) have been investigative in nature, he said. With the BCII, I have a greater area and more people that I am responsible for. Now I have much more of a leadership role.
During his time with the FBI, Fiatal held several roles that could have easily been lifted from a network TV crime show.
He was the supervisor of both the FBI’s Cleveland office of drug and violent gang squad and the Caribbean Drug Task Force. He was also involved with the White Collar Crime Task Force.
Fiatal’s most recent job was as a supervisor at the Cleveland field office for the Federal Air Marshal Service.
Fiatal said his time with the FBI gave him a working understanding of the day-to-day operations involved in criminal investigations and he feels this experience will help him make the BCII more efficient in the support it provides to law enforcement agencies.
According to Fiatal, the major difference between working with the FBI and the BCII is the jurisdiction. The FBI is a federal agency, while the BCII is state-run.
However, both organizations do similar work.
Now that Fiatal is working for the BCII, his capacities as a crime scene investigator have changed.
He said he is not as directly involved in the investigations, but still finds his current position with the BCII very fulfilling.
The BCII currently employs 304 people and has investigative, identification and laboratory divisions. The agency cooperates with local and federal law enforcement agencies through the analysis of evidence, such as DNA and ballistics. BCII is also home to two of Ohio’s largest tools for national identification and information.
It is home to the state’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which contains the prints of millions of individuals, along with their corresponding criminal histories and the electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification database.
The BCII headquarters are located in London, Ohio, west of Columbus.