Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of History

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, iii, 249 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Richard F Hamm

Committee Members

Gerald Zahavi, Frankie Bailey


Forensic sciences, Criminal investigation, Police, Police, Rural

Subject Categories



This dissertation delineates the process and advancements in professionalizing the police departments and the development of forensic science in New York. Furthermore, as a preliminary and exploratory study it examines the evolution and changes of forensic science within the growth and expansion of a New York county police department. The relationship between police and forensic science was complex; for example, the impetus for the police to adopt a particular forensic methodology varied. At times, the development of forensic methodologies necessitated a further step in professionalizing the police departments. Other times, law enforcement sought new forensic inventions, or the improvement of existing scientific analysis. This dissertation provides a concentrated focus on the changing policies of a state (and a county) regarding the sciences of policing and forensics – all within the broader context of the history of forensic science and the professional development of the U.S. police departments in general. Furthermore, it contributes to the literature of law-enforcement, federalism, chemistry, biology, and crime. It also contributes to the local literature of Warren County and the Adirondacks by showing how the rural county police department adopted the varied forensic methodologies.

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