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NCJ Number: 51085 Find in a Library
Title: ROLE FOR THE SMALL LOCAL CRIME LABORATORY
Journal: POLICE CHIEF  Volume:45  Issue:10  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:18,20,22
Author(s): K W GODDARD
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ROLE OF AND NEED FOR SMALL CRIME LABORATORIES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, AS OPPOSED TO LARGE REGIONAL LABORATORIES AND THEIR ASSOCIATED COST-EFFECTIVENESS, IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE GREATEST SINGLE REASON WHY LARGE CRIME LABORATORIES ARE MORE COST-EFFECTIVE THAN SMALL LABORATORIES IS THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING GROWTH AND RELATED COST OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE. FORENSIC SCIENCE LITERATURE DEMONSTRATES THE INTENSITY OF ONGOING RESEARCH IN VIRTUALLY ALL PHASES OF CRIMINALISTICS. PARTICULAR EMPHASIS IS BEING PLACED ON TECHNIQUES THAT EVENTUALLY MAY BE USED TO INDIVIDUALIZE A SUSPECT, SUCH AS THE TYPING OF COMPLEX ENZYME SYSTEMS PRESENT IN DRIED BLOOD AND SEMINAL FLUID. INSTRUMENTS OFTEN SUPPORTED BY COMPUTER PROGRAMS AND DATA BANKS ARE BEING USED TO SUPPLEMENT OR REPLACE MICROSCOPES AND CHEMICALS. THE COST FACTOR INVOLVED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FULLY FUNCTIONAL CRIME LABORATORY SYSTEM ALMOST DEMANDS A REGIONAL CONCEPT. AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR, HOWEVER, IN DETERMINING THE OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS OF A CRIME LABORATORY SYSTEM, OFTEN OVERLOOKED, IS COMMUNICATION. MOST REGIONAL LABORATORIES ARE TOO BUSY WITH THEIR ANALYTICAL CASELOADS TO RESPOND TO ANY BUT THE MOST ESSENTIAL CRIME SCENES. THE COMMUNICATION PROBLEM IS COMPLICATED BY THE PHYSICAL DISTANCE THAT OFTEN EXISTS BETWEEN AN INVESTIGATING AGENCY AND THE LABORATORY. SMALL CRIME LABORATORIES STAFFED BY GENERALIST-TYPE CRIMINALISTS ARE IN AN EXCELLENT POSITION TO PREPROCESS EVIDENCE AND DISTRIBUTE IT TO BE ANALYZED IN A LOGICAL AND EFFECTIVE MANNER. ONCE EVIDENCE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO A SMALL LABORATORY, IT CAN BE EVALUATED IN TERMS OF OVERALL CASE INFORMATION AND PACKAGED AND DELIVERED TO A WELL-EQUIPPED REGIONAL LABORATORY. PREPROCESSING IN A SMALL LABORATORY ALSO REDUCES THE WORKLOAD OF A LARGE REGIONAL LABORATORY. THE ROLE OF SMALL CRIME LABORATORIES IS TO ACT AS COORDINATING AND COMMUNICATING UNITS BETWEEN FIELD OFFICERS AT CRIME SCENES AND THE HIGHLY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL AND INSTRUMENTATION IN THE LARGE REGIONAL CRIME LABORATORY. THE EXPERIENCE OF THE HUNTINGTON BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT'S SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION BUREAU IN CALIFORNIA IS REPORTED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): California; Cost effectiveness analysis; Crime laboratories; Regionalization
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51085

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