Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Colleges - the future site of forensic labs?

I've been thinking about this topic ever since the NAS report was issued, can forensic labs function well under police supervision? This article from India hints at our future here in the US - given budget shortfalls, staff cutbacks, and crime rates - can police departments keep up with forensics?

Sure, DNA is the sexy CSI science. But what about latent prints, crime scene photography, or multi-media forensics? As budgets shrink, governments can't afford to back fill open spots in their technical labs. The result, evidence isn't processed.

I've been saying that I think the solution is regional forensic labs at college campuses. Having the "official" lab at a college satisfies a number of issues raised in the NAS report, as well as by Senator Leahy. I think that this model solves a number of problems - more cops out of the labs and back on the street, disinterested third parties practicing forensic science, getting the CSI stuff away from fluctuating city budgets and under a federal funding scheme, and etc.

Just something to think about for now. But, something's got to give ...

No comments: