Richard Saferstein, Ph.D., retired in 1991 after serving twenty-one years as the Chief Forensic Scientist of the New Jersey State Police Laboratory, one of the largest crime laboratories in the United States. He currently acts as a consultant for attorneys and the media in the area of forensic science. During the O. J. Simpson criminal trial, Dr. Saferstein provided extensive commentary on forensic aspects of the case for the Rivera Live show, the E! television network, ABC radio, and various radio talk shows. Dr. Saferstein holds degrees from the City College of New York and earned his doctorate degree in chemistry in 1970 from the City University of New York. From 1972 to 1991, he taught an introductory forensic science course in the criminal justice programs at The College of New Jersey and Ocean County College. These teaching experiences played an influential role in Dr. Saferstein’s authorship in 1977 of the widely used introductory textbook Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, currently in its eleventh edition. Saferstein’s basic philosophy in writing Criminalistics is to make forensic science understandable and meaningful to the nonscience reader while giving the reader an appreciation for the scientific principles that underlie the subject.
Dr. Saferstein has authored or co-authored more than forty-four technical papers covering a variety of forensic topics. Dr. Saferstein has authored Basic Laboratory Exercises for Forensic Science (Prentice Hall, 2011) and co-authored Lab Manual for Criminalistics (Prentice Hall, 2015). He has also edited two editions of the widely used professional reference books Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 1 (Prentice Hall, 2002), Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 2 (Prentice Hall, 2005), and Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 3 (Prentice Hall, 2009). Dr. Saferstein is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Canadian Society of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists.
In 2006, Dr. Saferstein received the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Paul L. Kirk award for distinguished service and contributions to the field of criminalistics.