Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

Home Office rewards police innovation with £50 million

GATCAll forces in England and Wales benefit from Police Innovation Fund
Every police force in England and Wales will receive a share of a £50 million Home Office fund for projects aimed at transforming policing through innovation and collaboration.
The successful schemes include investment in body-worn camera, groundbreaking forensics techniques and joint working between the police and fire service.
Forces were awarded money for new approaches to tackle anti-social behaviour and rural crime; a project to help young runaways; and work to improve the way the police interact with people with mental health problems

York County DNA lab to help ease backlog of cases

CampbellYORK — No longer will police in York County have to wait several months to a year for a speck of saliva to match a burglary suspect or a blood stain to uncover the identity of a wanted killer.

York Co. Sheriff’s Office DNA lab earns inagural accreditation

York CoAfter three years, the York County Sheriff’s Office DNA Laboratory is now open.
The laboratory received from Forensic Quality Services that it has achieved accreditation under the global basis for laboratory accreditation in management and technical requirements.

New criminal forensics laboratory rapidly rising

Louisiana For Sci CenterFormer medical student housing on Linwood Avenue, opposite Forest Park Cemetery just south of Claiborne Avenue, was demolished several years ago and now is the site for a rising North Louisiana Forensic Science Center.

Two dozen DNA matches found in first 150 rape kits tested under new law

sexual assault kitsDENVER – One year after the implementation of a new law prompted by a CALL7 investigation, officials say they have already found DNA matches by analyzing previously-untested rape kits.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said Thursday it had received results back from testing its first batch of 150 rape kits — which represents less than 5 percent of all untested kits statewide — which were outsourced to four labs throughout the country. From those 150 kits, CBI was able to develop 60 DNA profiles and upload them into CODIS, a national DNA database used by law enforcement to identity offenders and help solve crimes.

From the Minister of State for Crime Prevention (Norman Baker) UK

dna12“I am today announcing arrangements for the appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator. Following an open competition adhering to the principles of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. I have decided to appoint Dr Gillian Tully. Her 3-year term of appointment will commence on 17 November 2014.”

Investigators blast Justice Dept.’s handling of FBI crime lab problems

Justice Building PlaqueWASHINGTON — Investigators on Wednesday sharply criticized the Justice Department’s handling of old FBI crime lab problems.In a sweeping, 138-page report, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General cited “serious deficiencies” in the work of the task force assigned in 1996 to follow up on potentially troublesome crime lab cases. In some instances, the problems associated with 13 specific lab workers were a matter of life and death.

NIST Names Members of Forensic Science Resource Committees

fssbAn initiative to strengthen and bring uniformity to forensic science standards took another step forward today as the National Institute of Standards and Technology appointed 35 new members to the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).

Integrating LIMS and evidence management

analyst2While the property room in a police department is usually the sole overseer of evidence, the forensic lab—located either inside or outside of the department—shares this responsibility, too. The lab performs testing and analysis of evidence, and then documents findings. Without the ability to automate its operations, a forensic lab can quickly become overwhelmed and backlogs of evidence can balloon.

New state DNA law could help wrongly convicted

DNA 8DNA collections from individuals arrested for violent crime could help solve crime and it could exonerate those wrongly convicted.

New State Police Forensics Lab Director appointed

Maryland State policeMaryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown today announced a veteran forensic scientist with a broad range of expertise including DNA technology has been appointed as the new crime laboratory director.
Daniel E. Katz has been appointed director of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. Katz has worked in the Forensic Sciences Division since May 2007. Since January 2014, he has served as Acting Director of the Forensic Sciences Division, following the retirement of former Director Teresa Long.

How a Magazine Ad Helped Convict a Rapist

trialIn May of 1986, a woman in Orange County, Florida, was surprised by a man who entered her apartment and raped her at knifepoint. Despite the fact that she got a glimpse of his face, the chances of identifying and convicting her rapist were slim. Although law enforcement officers did their best to identify the perpetrator, their investigative techniques in the case were limited compared to our current set of forensic tools. That changed when Jeffrey Ashton, an assistant attorney for the state of Florida, saw an advertisement for DNA-based paternity testing in a magazine and began to wonder if DNA testing could also be used to identify the man responsible for the attack.

To reflect on this important advance in forensic science, Michael Baird and Jeff Ashton will be presenting The Birth of DNA Testing: A 25-Year Prospective at the 25th International Symposium on Human Identification. For more information, visit ishinews.

Match game

Match GameA year and a half ago, a group of law enforcement agencies in Alamance County and beyond seemed finally to have found a solution for faster DNA testing, given their backlog of cases waiting on test results from the State Crime Lab, which has faced limited resources and a small number of analysts.

DNA testing eyed for graves exhumed from historic Waco cemetery

Lori BakerThe committee tasked with planning the reburial of some 300 human remains unearthed from the old First Street Cemetery are hoping to enlist DNA technology in a quest to identify them.

Calgary police chief presses case for DNA lab

Rick HansonCalgary’s police chief says an in-house DNA lab would cut down the turnaround time for results, allow investigators to use the technology for a wider range of crimes, and help identify perpetrators more quickly before they can commit further crimes.