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    Update of 5 Common Areas in a Crime Lab and a New Technology

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    I have a scenario that if I am a consultant for a detectives squad and we are looking to upgrade the crime lab for the police department after receiving a large financial grant, what would the best course of action be to make this department the envy of the nation while supplying these new features to other agencies on a fee basis?

    I am looking for research on 5 of the most common areas in a crime lab and report how they can be updated.

    I am also looking for a way to add one technologically advanced piece of equipment that is not common to most labs. That will make my lab standout among others in the state and or nation.

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    The most common areas in a crime lab are the following:

    ? Evidence Control Unit - Unit responsible for the receipt and management of all evidence from an investigation. The main method of tagging the evidence is by using a bar code and inputting the information in a laboratory information system (LIMS). Evidence then is placed in a secure storage room. The "chain of custody" of the evidence has to be documented accurately as this becomes a very important issue if and when used to prosecute a suspect in court proceedings.

    Suggestion on how to update: To eliminate human error (loosing or misplacing evidence or errors in handwritten documentation) and to have an actual picture of the evidence on file in a computer system, a more efficient method that can be used is a computer software that can scan a picture of the evidence and the bar code into the computer system which would automatically identify the evidence.

    ? Firearms Unit - Unit that is responsible for doing the scientific testing (forensic examination) of firearms, ammunition, spent casings, gunshot residue on victim's clothing, and bullet trajectories. Once a firearm has been collected from the crime scene, this unit will enter all the information on a computer system. An agency can check with the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) which has records of stolen, recovered, lost, and missing weapons; also has records of weapons used in the commission of a felony crime. As to spent casings, the agency can send a digital image of the markings made on a spent ammunition or from test firing the gun to the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    Suggestion on how to update: Not all state and local agencies have the technology to take a digital image of the markings. ...

    Solution Summary

    This document has 1,091 words and is in response to an inquiry about identifying five common areas in a crime lab, how these areas can be updated, and an introduction of a new cutting edge technology.