The Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist of the Year Award is presented annually to a Forensic Scientist within the Laboratory Division deemed to have consistently provided a superior quality forensic analysis service in a highly professional, proficient, and unbiased manner for the Indiana Criminal Justice Community. The recipient of the 2021 Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist of the Year is Mitzi C. Templeton, whose accomplishments during that year are worthy of such recognition and have earned her this award.
In 2021, Templeton, who serves as a Forensic Scientist in the Forensic Firearms Identification Unit at the Evansville Regional Laboratory completed 435 cases, which was well above the Unit’s average, and she organized several Integrated Ballistics Identification System shoots with multiple agencies that involved 147 cases.
In September 2021, Templeton received a United States Attorney’s Award that was presented to her by the Office of the United States Attorney, Southern District of Indiana, “…in recognition of your invaluable contribution to the mission of the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Justice.” The award noted that Ms. Templeton was recognized for the forensic science services she completed as part of a significant criminal investigation, reading in part “…for exemplary public service performed during a joint State and Federal investigation and prosecution for unlawful possession of firearms and murder. Your dedicated work shows how State and Federal Investigators and Prosecutors can successfully unite to seek justice and protect the people of Indiana.”
Templeton is a member of the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE), the International Association for Identification (IAI), the Indiana Chapter of IAI and the American Board of Criminalists (ABC), in which she is recognized as a Comprehensive Criminalist Fellow. She also serves as a website moderator for AFTE, as well as the Committee Chair of the AFTE Firearm and Ammunition Recall Committee.
Templeton graduated from Indiana University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. She started her career with the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division in May of 2007 at the Evansville Regional Laboratory, where she continues to serve.
Forensic Scientist Templeton resides in the Greater Evansville area.