thomas riley

Thomas P. Riley

Founder, Forensic Document Examiner

Mr. Riley is a forensic document examiner with over twenty-nine years experience in the field of forensic science. He is the founder of Riley, Welch, LaPorte and Associates and he retired from the Michigan State Police as a Detective First Lieutenant.  In 2018 Mr. Riley sold his ownership interest in Riley Welch LaPorte & Associates Forensic Laboratories.  He continues to work cases for RWL for past clients and those who ask specifically for him.

Mr. Riley served in the Michigan State Police from 1987 to 2012, spending most of his career with the State Police assigned to the East Lansing, and then Lansing Forensic Laboratory.  Mr. Riley served as a Forensic Document Examiner from 1990 to 2002. In 2002, he was promoted to Statewide Program Coordinator for Questioned Documents. This position included conducting case examinations, supervising other examiners in the Questioned Document Unit, oversight of the quality of forensic document examination services to law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Michigan, and serving as the quality manager for this forensic discipline. Mr. Riley was assigned to the Forensic Science Division as an Assistant Division Commander of Laboratory Operations during 2009. In this role, he assisted the Director of the Forensic Science Division with the oversight and supervision of the operation of the seven Michigan State Police Laboratories around the state.

Mr. Riley served the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory for many years as a crime scene responder and blood spatter examiner. Mr. Riley also spent several years supervising crime scene callouts, receiving calls from law enforcement agencies, assessing the information and needed services and then assembling and dispatching a team to respond.

Mr. Riley graduated from Florida International University in Miami, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1988. In 1990, he was selected for a position in the Questioned Document Unit. He then completed a three-year training program under the direct supervision of a highly qualified forensic document examiner. This training also included training by the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

Mr. Riley is an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Questioned Document Section, American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) International. In the past, Mr. Riley has served on the executive committees of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners and the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE). Mr. Riley continues to remain active in his professional development activities, regularly attending professional meetings, workshops and paper presentations.

In 1996, Mr. Riley received certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners which is the only certifying body sponsored by the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, the Southwestern Association of Forensic Document Examiners, and the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners, and also is 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.

Mr. Riley has conducted, presented, and published research papers on different forensic document topics, with peer-reviewed publications in the International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners.

Mr. Riley has been a guest lecturer at Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, the Volgograd Law Institute of the Militia in Volgograd, Russia, the Chinese Peoples Public Security University in Beijing, China, and the Jiangsu Police Institute in Nanjing, China. He has provided training to numerous law enforcement agencies over the years concerning all aspects of forensic document examination. He has taught for the Michigan State Police Training Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and other organizations, for advanced trooper recruit school and courses on crime scene and homicide investigation. Mr. Riley has also taught workshops for a variety of organizations, including the American Academy of Forensic Science.

Since retiring from state government, Mr. Riley has served as an international Forensic Advisor working throughout Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica.  His role as an advisor includes providing training in Forensic Document Examination and guiding forensic laboratories seeking ISO 17025 accreditation.  In addition to his work with RWL, Mr. Riley continues to work as an international Forensic Advisor.

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