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Illinois State Police Forensic Science personnel receive the 2007 August Vollmer Excellence Award

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Press Release Date: October 15, 2007    || Archived February 8, 2008

First recipients of the Significant Investigative Value in a Major Case category in Forensic Science

The Illinois State Police (ISP) proudly announced today that three employees from the Chicago Forensic Science Center are the first recipients of the 2007 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award in the category of Significant Investigative Value in a Major Crime. The presentations were made at the 2007 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The IACP recognized Biochemistry Section Chief Cecilia Doyle, Group Supervisor Debora Depczynski and Forensic Scientist Barbara Wilson (deceased) for their work with the Palatine Police Department’s Investigatory Task Force in solving the 1993 murder of seven employees of the Brown’s Chicken and Pasta Restaurant in Palatine, Illinois.

“The recognition of our personnel for their outstanding efforts and hard work in one of the most horrific murder cases in Illinois history is honorable and appreciated,” said Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent. “The experience, knowledge and dedication these individuals bring to forensics and law enforcement is invaluable. I am truly grateful to the IACP Forensics Committee and the law enforcement community for recognizing these dedicated women as they receive this prestigious award.”

The IACP named the award in honor of Chief August Vollmer who was a leading figure in the development of the field of criminal justice in the United States in the early 20th century. He is also widely known for being the most innovative police chief in American police history. Chief Vollmer was the first police chief of Berkeley, California, in 1909 and past president of the IACP in 1921. His contributions to law enforcement and the significant impact forensic science has had on the criminal justice system is a reflection of his vision.

The 2007 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award recipients include:

Ms. Cecilia M. Doyle is the Biochemistry Section Chief at the Forensic Science Center at Chicago (FSC-C). Ms. Doyle received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1981 from De Paul University and her Master of Science degree in biology from Northeastern Illinois University in 1999. She began her career in forensic biology/DNA with the Chicago Police Department Crime Laboratory in 1991 and joined the ISP FSC-C as a DNA Group Supervisor in 1996. Ms. Doyle also served as the Laboratory Director of the ISP’s Rockford Forensic Science Laboratory. Ms. Doyle currently oversees a staff of approximately 55 and has daily oversight for all forensic biology and DNA operations.

Ms. Debora Depczynski is currently a Biology/DNA Group Supervisor at the FSC-C and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University in 1980. She began her career in forensic science as a forensic biologist with the ISP in 1982 and has served in a number of capacities throughout her career including Acting Training Coordinator for forensic biology.

Ms. Barbara Wilson, Ph.D. worked as a Forensic Scientist at the Forensic Science Center at Chicago until her death in October 2002. Dr. Wilson received her Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and later earned her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan. Dr. Wilson began her career in forensic science with the Illinois State Police in 1995 as a forensic scientist in DNA.

The committee held their award ceremony to honor the award recipients during the evening of Sunday, October 14, 2007 at the IACP Annual Conference.

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