Forensics Investigator: Real Life CSI - View the video

Dan Roman

Dan Roman
Forensics Investigator
Madison Police Department

211 S. Caroll Street
Madison, WI 53703

Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

Dan Roman attended Harvard University, graduating (1977) Magna Cum Laude with highest honors in the department, majoring in Romance Languages and Literature. He moved to Madison to continue his studies, receiving a Masters degree in 1979 and then starting work on a PhD until 1981. He left the Spanish Department and worked at a Credit Union until he applied to the Madison Police Department. He started in the Police Academy in October of 1984, graduated and went to Patrol duty for about 18 months and then worked undercover in the Narcotics Unit for three full years. When he came out of that unit he went back to patrol until being promoted to the Forensic Services Unit as an Investigator in 1992. Roman has been an Investigator assigned to the Forensic Services Unit for the past 22 years. During this time he has worked on over 130 homicides, hundreds of death investigations (suicides, accidental and natural causes), countless sexual assault cases, domestic violence cases, arsons, bombings, and every officer-involved shooting case. Roman has also taught Basic Crime Scene Technician courses for Madison College, as well as to a consortium of local police agencies, and to the new Investigators as they come into the unit. He has also taught basic crime scene processing and fingerprinting at the Madison Police Pre-Service Academy for the last 18 sessions. He is a Fingerprint Classification and Comparison instructor. He has also been an Instructor at Concordia University, teaching Forensic Criminalistics, Cross-Cultural Awareness, and, just to round things out, Renaissance and Baroque History. After leaving the Narcotics and Vice Unit in 1990 he has been a lecturer on street drugs, addressing school groups (both students and teachers) and EMS services, specifically on the medical effects of street drugs. Most recently he was a lecturer on Death Investigations at a two-week school hosted by Madison Police, covering the following topics: Reading the Crime Scene, Top 10 Errors in Death Investigations, and Evidence Collection.

Movies and television extol the value of forensic evidence gathering and high-tech science in helping solve crimes. But what are the day-to-day realities of a forensics investigator. What kinds of academic skills are needed when processing crime scenes, car crashes, shooting reconstructions and bloodstain pattern analyses. Madison police investigator Dan Roman offers an insider’s view of Real Life CSI. (Running Time 22:09)