Forensic Epidemiology: Joint Training for Law Enforcement and Public Health Officials

There are four modules in this course:

  • Module 1: Public Health Epidemiology for Law Enforcement Officials
  • Module 2: Criminal Investigation for Public Health Professionals
  • Module 3: The Role of the Laboratory - Public Health and Forensic
  • Module 4: Working Together on Investigations

After completing these modules, you will be presenting with three case studies. Problems and questions will be discussed and you may also involve in a discussion board for in-depth discussion regarding the case studies.

There are practice exercises at the end of each module. These practice exercises will provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills presented in these modules. There is a post-test at the end of case studies.

Intended Audience

Groups of law enforcement officers and public health professionals who want to learn how to work together in investigating disease outbreaks that are or may also be crimes, bioterrorism events, or other deliberately caused outbreaks 

Learning Objectives

Module 1: Public Health Epidemiology for Law Enforcement

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Define common public health terminology.
  • Describe how public health agencies approach preventing and controlling infectious diseases.
  • Describe how epidemiologists approach finding, investigating, and controlling outbreaks.

Module 2: Criminal Investigations and Basics of the Incident Management System

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the goals of law enforcement in criminal investigations.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of various law enforcement agencies.
  • List and describe the steps involved in a criminal investigation process.

Module 3: The Roles of the Laboratories -- Public Health and Forensic

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the roles of the public health and forensic (crime) laboratories.
  • Discuss public health laboratory procedures in suspected bioterrorism events.
  • Discuss forensic laboratory procedures in criminal or terrorism events.
  • Outline the chain of custody as it applies to laboratory specimens.

Module 4: Working Together on Investigation

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Define "Incident Command System." 
  • Describe the components and factors affecting Incident Command System.
  • Explain incident command transition considerations.
  • Describe implementation of the Federal Response Plan (PDD-39, PDD-62, HSPD-5) when planning for and responding to a terrorist incident.
  • List factors that contribute for joint investigations to be effective.
  • Explain the different phases of sharing sensitive information for public health and law enforcement professionals.

Pre-requisites/Learning Level

No pre-requisites

Competencies addressed

Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals identified:

Domain 1: Analytical/Assessment Skills

  • 1A8. Collects valid and reliable quantitative and qualitative data

Domain 5: Community Dimensions of Practice Skills

  • 5A5. Collaborates with community partners to improve health in a community (e.g., participates in committees, shares data and information, connects people to resources) 

CEUs Offered





Online Self-Pace


2.5 hours

Presenter(s) and/or Content Experts

Technical requirements

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  • Flash Player 
  • Speakers

Registration requirements

Register a free account

Creation and/or update

September 11, 2013