It’s a Woman’s World: Crime Scene Investigation in Las Vegas
Crime scene investigation plays a vital role in building criminal cases, and women stand at the forefront of this fast-growing field. In recognition of Women’s History Month, The Mob Museum will host a panel discussion featuring leaders within the Crime Scene Investigations Section of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The panel will discuss the evolution of forensic science, challenges facing forensic evidence in criminal courts and career paths for prospective CSI professionals.
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Stephanie Thi, Crime Scene Analyst Supervisor, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Stephanie Thi is currently a Crime Scene Analyst Supervisor in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s CSI Section. She began her career with the LVMPD in 2011 as a Crime Scene Analyst I. She promoted to Senior Crime Scene Analyst in 2015, and she promoted to her current position in 2018 where she currently works the graveyard shift.
Originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area, Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. She then went on to earn a Master of Science degree in biomedical forensic sciences from the Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.
During her time as a Crime Scene Analyst and as a Supervisor, Stephanie has served as an instructor for the Crime Scene Analyst Academy, the Patrol Academy, and the Corrections Academy. As a supervisor, she has worked as part of the training staff for the Crime Scene Analyst Academy, and she has served as a field supervisor. She has also volunteered for UNLV’s Criminal Justice Career Fair as a representative of the CSI Section, and she has given CSI presentations to the LVMPD Citizen’s Police Academy.
Stephanie Smissen, Senior Crime Scene Analyst, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Senior Crime Scene Analyst Stephanie Smissen began her dream of becoming a Crime Scene Analyst when she was in middle school. She watched all the television shows which were popular and that sparked her initial interest. She went to Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy, for high school and focused on Law Enforcement careers. While she was in high school, she joined the LVMPD Explorer Program as a CSI Explorer. She learned the basic duties of a Crime Scene Analyst all while learning about skills such as leadership, teamwork, accountability, time management and respect. After she graduated high school, she attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice in May of 2017 from UNLV.
She was hired on as a Crime Scene Analyst at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in September of 2016. She has been employed for 5 and a half years. She was promoted to a Senior Crime Scene Analyst in October of 2020. She takes pride in knowing that the work that she does makes a positive difference in people’s lives and in the community, she grew up in.
Stephanie is a CSI Explorer Advisor, and she became an advisor because she wanted to be a role model to the young men and women that join the program, much like her advisors were to her. Just a few years ago she was sitting in the same seats that these Explorers sit in. She hopes to show these Explorers that with hard work and dedication, the LVMPD Explorer Program really does work and can help them get a head start to their careers in law enforcement.
Alondra Flores, Crime Scene Analyst II, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Crime Scene Analyst II Alondra Flores was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated from Sunrise Mountain High School in June of 2014. Shortly after in August of 2014, she moved to Reno, Nevada to attend the University of Nevada, Reno where she earned a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology in May of 2018.
In 2018, CSA II Flores returned to Las Vegas, Nevada. She was hired in January of 2019 with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and began a 12-week Crime Scene Academy and a 12-week field training program. In January of 2021, she progressed to a Crime Scene Analyst II. As a Crime Scene Analyst II, she now investigates crime scenes independently and works a variety of calls from Burglaries and Stolen Vehicles to Sexual Assaults and Homicides. CSA II Flores currently works on a day shift and attends and collects evidence at autopsies.
In September 2021, she completed an instructor development course which allowed her to teach and assist in academy classes such as a footwear documentation class and a strangulation documentation class. CSA II Flores plans on continuing to teach and further her own knowledge on crime scenes. She will be testing to become a Senior Crime Scene Analyst in one year.
Danielle Courtney, Senior Crime Scene Analyst, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Senior Crime Scene Analyst Danielle Courtney is a Las Vegas native. After graduating from Chaparral High School in 2002, she attended UNLV and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2006. Danielle worked as a private investigator throughout college and eventually hired on as a Temporary Support Technician at the Forensic Lab in 2007 where she conducted research projects and assisted Lab Aids and Forensic Scientists.
Danielle was hired as a Crime Scene Analyst I in 2008. She completed the Crime Scene Academy and Field Training Program. She progressed to a Crime Scene Analyst II in 2010 and promoted to Senior Crime Scene Analyst in 2012. As a Senior Crime Scene Analyst, Danielle can work all types of Crime Scenes independently. She trains new CSAs in the Field Training and Evaluation Program and has worked as an Acting Supervisor. She has passed Instructor Development and has taught in the Crime Scene Academy as well as in the Police Academy and has also spoken at various events for the community.
Danielle has worked upwards of 3500 crime scenes over the years including Homicides and Officer Involved Shootings. She has testified multiple times in various types of local and federal courts including Municipal, Justice, District and Federal Court. Danielle continues to complete courses related to the field and participate in teaching and training. She has also taken part of various committees and project groups throughout the section to develop training and policy revisions as well as help with internal audits of our section based on accreditation standards.