By BSO, Miranda Grossman
From ballerina to biology and forensic science, Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab Director Claudine Carter Pereira is the first female Crime Lab director at BSO and the first and only Black Crime Lab director in Florida. She shares her wide experience with Sheriff Gregory Tony in celebration of Women’s History Month.
For as long as she could remember, Dir. Carter Pereira aspired to be a prima ballerina. Although she never stopped dancing, she put ballet on the backburner to obtain degrees in biology and forensic science.
“I started out dancing at three-years-old. I fell in love with ballet from day one. I trained in New York and had aspirations of becoming a ballerina. Then I had some injuries that prevented me from being able to continue that professional level. So all of the sudden I had to have a plan b. I think it’s funny that I went from being a ballerina and my plan b was a forensic scientist,” Dir. Carter Pereira said. “I always loved science. I teach dance from a science perspective. I teach my ballet from a physics perspective.”
Dir. Carter Pereira manages more than 55 employees who analyze evidence from across Broward County. The Crime Lab analyzes multiple areas of forensics, including a DNA Unit, Evidence Intake Unit, Latent Print Unit, Chemistry Unit and Firearms and Toolmarks Unit. She talks about the reality of working in forensics and how it has changed since she first started her career.
“If you look at the science field, it’s been a predominantly male field for years. You can see the transition in our crime lab. It started out that there were hardly any female leaders, barely any female scientists. Now it’s completely changed. It’s almost 50–50. We may even have more females than males,” Dir. Carter Pereira said.
Listen to Sheriff Tony’s conversation with Dir. Carter Pereira as they discuss the intricate science behind forensics, dance and the dedication it takes to do both in the latest episode of Shop Talk with the Sheriff podcast for free HERE or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, Breaker, Overcast, RadioPublic and Castbox.
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