Indiana State Police name Evansville resident as 2021 Forensic Scientist of the Year

Indiana State Police name Evansville resident as 2021 Forensic Scientist of the Year
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist of the Year calls Evansville home.

She does her part of the crime scene investigation process in the Forensic Firearm Investigation Lab.

“Most of my day is examining firearms, firearm-related components, bullets and cartridges that are left by at scenes,” Templeton said.

What’s left from every shot fired shows up on Templeton’s desk. It’s her job to figure out how, or if, it was used to cause a crime.

“Evansville, in particular, has a lot of shots fired right now, cartridge cases left on the ground,” said Templeton. “All of those will come to me, I will compare them.”

Special machinery helps her see how the gun shoots, and the pattern of the bullet.

The extensive reference collection provides examples of all kinds of firearms.

“Handguns, derringers, little pistols, big pistols,” she listed. “This reference collection has been building up for decades.”

The examples help with serial numbers, and are a guide. Sometimes she has to put guns completely back together.

Templeton’s forensic science work helped her lab complete 435 cases in a year, which is way above average.

She’s now earned her title of ISP’s Forensic Scientist of the Year, and her reaction was humble.

“The people in my unit are absolutely great as well,” said Templeton. “To be considered, even considered for this award was amazing to me. I could think of 20 people off the top of my head that absolutely deserved this award, and to be considered the one to get it just blew my mind.”

Templeton doesn’t often get to see the outcome of her cases firsthand, but she’s grateful to play a role.

“Knowing that these cases, and these individuals are off the street, in a small part because of what I did, is really rewarding to me,” she said.

Templeton says she originally planned to be a veterinarian, but her allergies stopped her.

Forensic science was her next try, and she applied for every unit in ISP until she landed in the firearms unit.

She says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

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