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Forensic Artist

Public Safety Aide Darlene Melius

PSA Melius began her career with the Lakeland Police Department in September 2002. At that time, she was already an accomplished artist who held an Associate’s Degree in Advertising Art and Design, and had worked as an art teacher since 1987, teaching both children and adults. Additionally, she was a featured artist at both Walt Disney World and Cypress Gardens.

PSA Melius quickly took an interest in putting her art skills to use in law-enforcement and completed Basic Composite Technician training in June of 2005, and since then, she has completed eight more training courses related to her chosen specialty. Most recently, she completed Master Facial Reconstruction Sculpture training at the Texas State Forensic Anthropology Center in San Marcos, Texas and is working toward international certification.

PSA Melius regularly responds to assist other officers and public safety aides with their crime scene duties, and she often works after-hours and on days-off, assisting members of LPD and other law enforcement agencies with composite sketches, morgue re-constructions, facial/skull re-constructions, and age-progression re-constructions. PSA Melius often obtains needed supplies at her own expense, with no added compensation for her highly technical skills and training. PSA Melius has assisted many local law enforcement agencies to include: Bartow PD, Haines City PD, Lake Wales PD, Plant City PD, Winter Haven PD, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Dr. Nelson, Polk County Medical Examiner.

To date, she has completed over 200-composite sketches, 3-age progression sketches, 8-facial/skull reconstructions and 2-morgue reconstructions. And, many of her sketches and reconstructions have resulted in positive identifications.

PSA Melius is available to assist other law enforcement agencies in need of her specialized skills. Law Enforcement agencies may contact 863-834-8950, or darlene.melius@lakelandgov.net to speak with PSA Melius.