In 2003, CRT Less Lethal recognized the need to bridge the gap between law enforcement operators and scientists in the forensic community.
CRT Mission Statement: Providing answers to the capabilities and limitations of less-lethal impact munitions, TASERS, and chemical agents through practical experience and independent scientific study thereby creating a safer outcome for all parties involved.
What We Do: Objective independent data from structured, practical testing has allowed us to develop forensic testing protocols used for expert witness casework and devise training programs for agencies all over the US and abroad.
Who Are We: We are specialists in a variety of law-enforcement topics ranging from Less-Lethal selection and deployment, to tactical applications, to forensic analysis. Both team members have testified and qualified as a less-lethal expert in courts of law. The biographies below give you a glimpse of our backgrounds and you can read more about our work as consultants and researchers by visiting the experiments page. Both of members sit on the NIJ Technology Working Group (TWG) for Less-Lethal Weapons.
Rick Wyant, M.S.
Rick Wyant has been forensic scientist since 1995 and a reserve deputy since 2000. He has been analyzing evidence related to Electronic Control Devices (ECD) since 2001 and is one of the founding members of CRT LL. He currently supervises the forensic firearms unit at the Seattle crime laboratory. Rick helped to develop testing protocols that have been utilized by ECD, Pepper spray, and Less Lethal impact munitions manufacturers. His standard operating procedures for ECD evidence analysis have been adopted by other crime laboratories. Rick and CRT LL have taught these protocols to police agencies, scientists, students and attorneys all over the US and abroad including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada.
Rick has testified over 100 times as a court qualified expert in criminal/civil courts in Texas, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington State, and for Queensland Australia. Testimony has included firearm and toolmark identification, weapon functionality, serial number restoration, distance determinations, crime scene/trajectory reconstruction, less-lethal weapon analysis. Since 2001, he testified as a forensic expert of ECD (TASER) devices and has analyzed evidence and documentation related to the deployment of TASERs in many jurisdictions, including cases from Washington State, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, California, Illinois, Oregon, Texas, Michigan, Arkansas, South Dakota, New York, Vancouver BC and Queensland Australia. In June 2010, Wyant helped establish criteria suitable to establish foundation for the admissibility of forensic TASER evidence under the FRYE standard. See ruling (pdf).
Officer Tom Burns has worked with the Seattle Police Department since 1989. During that time Tom has been assigned to Patrol, Anti Crime Team and SWAT and a pro-active bicycle patrol unit. During his tenure in SWAT, Tom was a member of the chemical agent/less lethal cadre and was cadre leader for two years. He developed the concepts for the chemical agent response teams (CART) for WTO in Seattle in 1999. Tom was also a lead instructor in crowd control for WTO and the patrol-CART (Chemical Agent Response Team).
Tom is a certified Master Instructor for Specialty Impact Munitions, Chemical Agents, NFDDs, and ECDs. Tom was a lead instructor in Rapid Intervention Tactics and consulted with the Department of Homeland Defense. Tom has taught crowd control tactics and the use of less lethal/chemical agents throughout the United States, and Canada. Tom spent seven weeks in Georgia training law enforcement and military personnel for the G-8 conference held in 2004, was a lead instructor working directly with numerous agencies in Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul in preparation for the democratic and republican conventions in 2008, and worked directly with the Vancouver Police Department in setting up a less lethal program for the 2010 Winter Olympics.