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New evidence technician for local law enforcement agencies

The recent move of Norm Frasier and his wife, Teri, not only left Pagosa Springs down two involved residents, but also left the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office without an evidence technician.

Frasier served as evidence technician (primarily on a volunteer basis) for the ACSO for five years, also helping the Pagosa Springs Police Department with evidence collection and preservation for just as long.

Now, pending a background investigation, retired San Diego Police Sgt. Dave Douglas has agreed to serve in the same capacity, on a volunteer basis.

Det. Rich Valdez of the ACSO said Douglas will help with evidence collection and preservation at major crime scenes — events such as search warrants or homicides — a field Douglas is comfortable with.

Douglas said he served 28 1/2 years with the San Diego Police Department after undergoing reserve sheriff training in San Diego with current Archuleta County Jail Captain Carl Smith.

Upon retiring from the San Diego PD, Douglas and his wife moved to Pagosa — a location he fell in love with after visiting Smith — and he has been volunteering as a firearms instructor with the PSPD.

When Frasier gave notice of his impending move, Douglas and Frasier were in contact about the job and Douglas was willing to help.

While serving in San Diego, Douglas said he was a field technician while on patrol and was certified as a bomb technician and in arson investigation, both fields requiring evidence collection and preservation training.

After retiring from the San Diego PD, Douglas became founding editor of American Cop Magazine. He is now senior field editor for the magazine’s publishing company and also writes for Police Magazine.

“He’ll be a good fit,” Valdez said.

“I think he’s going to be a very suitable replacement,” Sheriff Pete Gonzalez said.

Before diving in head first, however, Valdez and Det. Scott Maxwell of the PSPD said Douglas will attend training on evidence collection and preservation as a refresher course.

Valdez said the departments have agreed to split the cost of the training.

Despite quickly replacing Frasier (who departed the departments on Nov. 30, after selling his home in Pagosa Springs), both departments admit that Frasier’s shoes will be difficult to fill.

“He did so much, just based on a volunteer basis, it’s incredible,” Valdez said, adding that losing Frasier’s help is worse than simply losing a right hand (as the saying goes), noting, “In this aspect, I think I lost both hands.”

Valdez was not the only one to sing Frasier’s praises upon his departure.

“Norm was a member of the department as much as anyone else here, and he came out and assisted on almost every major crime scene we’ve had in the past, I don’t know, probably five or six years,” Maxwell said.

“He’s going to be a tough act to follow,” Gonzalez said.

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