Welcome to the Wisconsin Association for Identification!

It is a distinct honor to have been elected as President of WAI for 2020.  As a member since 2012, I have seen many new and exciting advancements in both this association, and the field of forensic investigation.  It seems we are in a constant state of rapidly evolving techniques and investigative tools in the amazing world of crime scene and forensic investigation.

My journey in law enforcement has taken me down many paths I never anticipated traveling.  I began my law enforcement career early in 1987 as a Park Ranger with the Department of Natural Resources while attending the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.  After graduating in 1990, I joined the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, where I remain today.  As a deputy sheriff, I was assigned to the jail, Task Force, Airport, Patrol, Seasonal Boat Patrol, and Civil Process.  After promoting to supervisor, I have had the opportunity to lead many talented individuals in the jail, Patrol, Officer in Charge, Court Security Unit, Civil Process, Civil Executions, Court Officers, Extraditions, Conveyances, Lab, Crime Scene Investigators, Forensic Video Analysis, Investigative Services Bureau, Multijurisdictional Drug Task Force, and Marine and Trail Enforcement.  In addition to my current assignment overseeing Background Investigations and Internal Affairs, I am also the Commander of our 31 member Tactical Response Team (TRT).  I am a current member of the WAI Property and Evidence Committee since 2011.

Throughout my varied career assignments I have had the privilege of being exposed to exceptionally talented individuals and groups.  It is through these exposures I have had the chance to meet other equally talented officers and investigators from all over Wisconsin and the United States.  The WAI has been instrumental in expanding my contacts and played a huge role in some significant investigations within my own agency.  Through relationships established at previous WAI conferences, I have been able to obtain the personnel and specialized equipment necessary to assist in the crime scene processing of some significant cases.

It is my goal as the president to continue to associate individuals tasked with the forensic identification, investigation, and scientific crime detection.  Increasing membership in WAI and attendance at the annual conference and educational seminar are also high on my priority list.  Expanding the annual conference to include training and education for Property and Evidence Managers over the past eight years has been a rewarding undertaking that I also will strive to maintain.

I encourage everyone to become a member of WAI and spend some time exploring the website, which offers training opportunities, special forums, a newsletter, and so much more.  And I am proud to announce the addition of educational scholarship opportunities, new this year, available to children of WAI members.  And finally, please join us on Facebook.

I look forward to leading this association throughout 2020!

Lt. David Karls















Wisconsin Association for Identification
1578 S 11th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204

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