Co-Founder, Forensic Document Examiner
Mr. Welch is a forensic document examiner with nearly a quarter century of experience in the field of forensic science. He is co-founder of Riley, Welch, LaPorte and Associates and, in addition to his work with Riley, Welch, LaPorte, he is employed full time with the Michigan Department of State Police as a forensic document examiner. During his tenure, he received additional training with the United States Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1987 he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Saginaw Valley State College and was the recipient of the National Criminal Justice Honors Society Outstanding Graduate of the Year Award.
Mr. Welch served as the 40th President of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) which is the largest and most active regional forensic science organization in the United States. He is likewise a member of numerous other professional organizations including the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Questioned Document Section, American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), the Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS), and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) International.
As an advocate for forensic science, Mr. Welch was invited and served on the Main Committee of the Technical Working Group for Document Examiners (TWGDOC) from 1996 – 2000 which is now recognized as the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Document Examination (SWGDOC). This initiative which included/includes both private and governmental examiners was established to develop forensic document standards within the forensic science community.
In 2001, Mr. Welch received his certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE) which is the only certifying body sponsored by the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, the Southwestern Association of Forensic Document Examiners, the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners, and the Canadian Society of Forensic Science. The ABFDE is also recognized by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the International Association for Identification, the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists. The ABFDE is the ONLY certifying body that can claim such sponsorship and recognition both nationally and internationally.
The Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) honored Mr. Welch by presenting him with the “New Scientists Award.” He has conducted, presented, and published papers on different forensic document topics. In addition, he has peer-reviewed publications in the International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners and was published in the Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners regarding the results of a 5 year joint research project on the individuality of paper tears with Ferris State University. In addition to his publications, he has also provided training to numerous law enforcement agencies over the last two decades concerning all aspects of forensic document examination and has been a guest speaker on numerous occasions at Cooley Law School.
Mr. Welch continues to professionally serve the forensic science community and currently holds numerous positions within the forensic document community. He was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners and was also voted on to the Board of Directors for the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. In addition to these positions, he was also selected to serve as a Committee Member on the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Technology Working Group.