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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149702 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Laboratory Efficiency: Shifting Paradigms
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:63  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1994)  Pages:15-19
Author(s): S K Soni
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how the Drug Analysis Unit of the Baltimore City Police Department (Maryland) changed its operational paradigm to improve its efficiency.
Abstract: Nationwide, increased caseloads and demands for prompt analytical information by the courts have placed pressure on laboratory services. In Baltimore, such a situation was exacerbated by a reliance on manually operated, labor- intensive analytical instruments, as well as laboratory personnel's resistance to standardization and to newly acquired automated procedures. The challenge to administrators was to design a system that would eliminate the constant backlog, decrease turnaround time, increase individual productivity, and maintain high analytical standards for accuracy and precision. To achieve these goals, the managers developed a new set of paradigms. They involve expanded training and education of personnel, as well as a review and revision of the laboratory's standard operating analytical procedures. Continuous quality improvement measures were instituted, and the unit acquired and applied emerging technologies for drug analysis. Innovative laboratory forms were designed, along with an emphasis on sensitivity to public interests. Upon fully implementing the new paradigm, the unit completely eliminated the once-constant backlog of cases without expending any overtime pay. Other results of the paradigm shift were equally impressive and resulted in considerable cost-savings to the police department.
Main Term(s): Drug analysis
Index Term(s): Maryland; Police policies and procedures; Science and Technology
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