Erika Di Palma began her law enforcement career in 2008 as a Federal Agent with the United States Border Patrol. While she learned vital skills as an Agent, her love for working in the field of forensic science full-time hadn’t been obtained. In 2010, she accepted a position as a Forensic Identification Specialist with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a position she has held for seven years. During this time she has responded to over 200 major crime scenes, most of which were homicides and deputy/officer involved shootings. She has also completed hundreds of fingerprint comparisons as a Latent Print Examiner and lifted over 1,500 fingerprints at property crime scenes. For the last three years, she has co-led the Major Crime Scene Training Program at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Latent Prints Section, which encompasses teaching a four-month curriculum comprised of lectures, practicums and mock crime scenes to a group of new hires. Once the lecture portion of the training concludes, she becomes a “roll-out” trainer and responds to major crime scenes to observe how each trainee processes a scene independently.
As for her education, she received her Masters of Forensic Science degree with a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation from the George Washington University in 2007. Prior to that, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Anthropology with a minor in Biology from the University of Miami. She has taken several internal courses offered by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as well as external courses offered by other organizations. This continual training allows her to stay relevant in the field of Crime Scene Investigation and the ability to teach the latest techniques available. In 2014, she became certified as a Crime Scene Investigator from the International Association for Identification. She is a member of the International Association for Identification and the International Crime Scene Investigators Association. She also owns “My Own Fingerprint,” a company that places custom fingerprints on a variety of products and is the proud mom of three fluffy Shih Tzus.