Investigator Ernie Van der Leest recently retired from law enforcement after nearly 28 years of service. During his 28 years of service, Ernie worked as a patrol officer, a field training officer, and as a SWAT/Sniper team member for a large Texas law enforcement agency. Ernie also has experience in criminal highway interdiction, as a K9 officer, as a criminal investigator and has worked undercover narcotics. 

Investigator Van der Leest is certified through the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA) as a Forensic Video Analyst; a certification shared by only 56 people in the world.  In 2007, Investigator Van der Leest was recruited to assist with the formation of the IACP Regional Forensic Video Laboratory located at the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.  Ernie has completed approximately 700 hours of training related to the forensic acquisition, processing, comparison, and analysis of audio/video and still imagery.   Ernie has testified numerous times on these issues in criminal cases.

Investigator Van der Leest has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College with honors.  He also holds a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management with honors from Sam Houston State University.

Upon his recent retirement, Ernie joined the investigative team at 3rd Chair Digital Forensics in Fort Worth, Texas where he continues his work in the forensic video field.

Ernie Van der Leest, M.S.

Certified Forensic Video Analyst

Private Investigator