Forensics sleuth goes to school

Yeah, forensics is hot right now. All over the television dial, intrepid police scientists are solving baffling crimes in a tidy 42 minutes.  But, as students in local schools are learning, the reality is not so tidy.

“One of the main topics lately seems to be entertainment,” says Steve Branson, director of forensic services for the Asheville Police Department, who visits area classrooms on a regular basis to describe his job, debunk television myths and remind interested students that you don’t just fall into these kinds of jobs. “Everyone wants to know, ‘Is that what you really do?’ My goal is to get students interested in forensics as a science.”

Branson’s next school visit will be a Wednesday, Sept. 26, appearance at Enka High School.

“I tell them there are three things you need to do, and all three are ‘stay in school,’” he says. Forensics jobs go primarily to masters and doctoral grads, he adds, and most focus is on “hard sciences” like chemistry and biology.

Teachers can invite Branson to their classrooms by contacting the APD forensic-services office at 259-5941 or

— Brian Postelle, staff writer


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