September 28, 2021 / James Warnet

Divers and Evidence Part 5: Standing at the Crossroads

When a decision has to be made, make it. There is no totally right time for anything.

George S. Patton Jr.

I admire your determination.

Today’s world is packed full of things that demand your attention… some of which you choose to listen to, and others you have to listen to.

Since you’re here, I know you are choosing to continue reading this…

And that can only mean one thing: you’re choosing to be better.

The reality you lived in before this series where “evidence” was just another thing you dove for in a haphazard way…

That reality has been changed forever. You can’t “unlearn” the truth I’ve shown you and you don’t want to.

That’s a very good thing…

Because the part of this reality that I haven’t really put too much emphasis on is the big secret…

The bare bones truth that shatters any hesitation against leaping in with both feet…


With good training… any public safety diver can do this at a very high level.

You can do this at the highest level.

Being good at underwater crime scene investigation doesn’t require years of study at a formal school… No degrees to acquire… No special blessing by any governing body.

You don’t even have to be sworn law enforcement.

If you get the call to dive for evidence, you’ve received all the blessing you’ll ever need to carry that portion of the investigation straight through to court.

You just need to know how to do it, right.

I’ve seen a large, and well-funded, state police dive team have circles run around them on an evidence call by a local fire department dive team that prioritized good training.

Realistically, both teams had divers of similar diving abilities…

And similar equipment capabilities…

But only one team took their role seriously with the drive of true professionals. And there wasn’t a single person there who could deny that. That team was proud of their work and it showed.

I’ve seen the same thing with a small town police dive team that refused to put forward anything less than their best effort.

Small cases… Large cases… It didn’t matter.

Their resolve to never let their edge slip is what mattered far more than the size of their team, jurisdiction, or budget.

And I couldn’t be more proud of both these teams because most are former students of ours.

In part 4 of this series, I told a story that many would be too ashamed to reveal…

Too afraid it would make them look bad.

I think the complete opposite: willingness to admit mistakes shows you are human and that you can learn.

The truth is, neither myself, my team, or any other staff diver from Northeast Public Safety Divers was born a gifted diver and evidence tech.

What we had was a failure.

A moment we were ashamed of our performance.

A moment when we realized that “the way we’ve always done it” was admitting that Mediocre was perfectly OK for us.

Only… it wasn’t.

Mediocre was an insult.

So we put our heads down and made the choice to be better.

Find those who know, and learn

Our path to success involved finding specialized training from instructors who knew what they were doing. And had done it before.

We also built relationships with prosecutors and investigators from the local level to the state level… to critique our operations and show us where we could improve.

Above all, we decided we would never dive Mediocre again.

It didn’t take long before something strange happened…

We got called to recover some evidence and it was clear we were called as a last resort, with no real hope that we’d do the job “right”.


We did do it right. We did it so right that the prosecutor felt the need to reach out and extend his thanks for a job well done.

The changes we needed were taking hold.

Now, many years later, our team receives calls from all over our jurisdiction (and sometimes beyond) for help.

Now, when we arrive on scene, the investigators give us a basic rundown and say “just do whatever you think is needed. We’re good with that.” and they step back until we need them.

Bodies, guns, knives, murder victims… we’ve gone after them all.

But this isn’t about us, is it?

It’s about you and where you want to go. Who you want to be.

That’s why you’re still here.

Well, it’s time to make your choice

Our journey took years to complete, and years to build into a well-respected evidence collection team.

And we take all that experience… all that expertise…

And offer it to you.

So you can make a faster and more productive choice than we ever could.

So, what if I told you there was an intensive two-day course scheduled for January 7-8, 2023…

A course that teaches you everything I’ve mentioned so far about underwater evidence collection… but in much greater detail…

And taught by qualified and very experienced public safety dive instructors who teach the very evidence techniques they use in the field, right now?

What if I told you that course came complete with a nationally-recognized certification card backed by one of the largest public safety dive training agencies in the world?

A card that clearly showed you were a qualified underwater crime scene investigator.

That would spike your interest, wouldn’t it?

It should… because it will transform your process from “whatever works” to a systematic procedure of steps from start to finish…

Where at the end, you know every step is done and every question is asked and answered.

It’s the type of course that dedicated professionals thrive at.

That opportunity, my friend, is the ERDI Underwater Crime Scene Investigator program put on by the renowned instructors of Northeast Public Safety Divers.


You will learn courtroom practices and constitutional law from actual law enforcement officers, advanced diving practices from someone with 3,000+ technical dives, and all the industry standard underwater evidence collection techniques from divers who do it all the time.

Years of experience at this task… right there in front of you. All presented by instructors that certify hundreds of public safety divers a year.

Let’s be clear, this is not a basic public safety dive course where hands are held and we teach to the lowest common denominator.

This is big boy and girl time.

There is a lot of complex material to cover and we can move quickly at times…

You’ll also receive a textbook in advance and be expected to read it.

So, if you cannot take something seriously or show up on time… Please do not sign up because this is not your course.

If you might half-commit only to back out weeks later… this is not the course for you.

If you are squeamish or easily disturbed by dead bodies… I’m sorry but this is not the course for you. We work with the dead at all stages of decomposition… it comes with the territory.

But if that’s not who you are, and you’re the type of person that rises to the occasion and pushes for that next highest level…

If you’re hell bent on being the best…

If you recognize that your oath to serve comes with the responsibility to perform at the highest level you can…

You enjoy learning and studying…

You ask a lot of questions to fully understand a topic…

And are willing to put in the hard work

This is your course and we’ll welcome you with open arms and share all we know.

Get your details right here…

…I have been a certified scuba diver for over thirty years and in that time I have never come into contact with more knowledgeable divers and trainers. I have no doubt that the training I received will assist me in becoming better public safety diver. If you are looking for quality, professional training, this is the organization you are looking for. I plan on utilizing their services in the future.

Jason Dolmatz – Recent Student

Tim Andro and his instructors are this generation’s new standard bearers for the practice, and instruction of Public Safety Diving. Tim along with his staff including James (F. and W.), Eric, Nick, and John have been providing me personally and the Dive Team that I lead in Pennsylvania with ERDI instruction for the last year. In that time we have pushed 8 divers through his program and have received invaluable instruction that has built experience, capability, and fostered a passion and dedication for public safety diving on our team. Above everything else I want to protect the members of my team and ensure their safety – the best way to do that is to ensure that they have the tools and knowledge to operate professionally, and ensure their personal safety and the safety of their fellow team members. Tim’s training builds SAFE, effective teams. Until Tim retires you can trust that every single one of the divers on my team will receive instruction from and certify with him and his staff before they are a fully rated Public Safety Diver.

Nicholas Jennings – Recent Student

Well over a year ago I reached out to owner Tim Andro seeking for some guidance on how to revamp my Departments dive team. Little did I know this simple email would turn into something so much more then just information. After several hundreds of emails back and forth we finally were able to set a date with NEPSD for ERDI 1 program. The guys came ready to work and share every once of knowledge with us. The amount of information the staff downloaded on us was quite simply amazing. But what made the whole experience personal was that they were at the same place we are currently with our team. They talked to us like fellow brothers and they never made us feel like “clients”. Even after the class the staff reached out to me on a personal level to check in on my pregnant wife….. Hands down we will be back to using them and attending classes they host. They didn’t just turn training into responding, they turned us all into extended family……

Scott Krakowski – Recent Student

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Northeast Public Safety Divers is one of the best public safety dive training companies that offers a variety of SDI and ERDI certification courses to recreational and public safety divers, from basic all the way through Supervisor, with a large catalog of specialties. Our operation is mobile and we will bring an entire certification course to your department or area.

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