Utah Department of Public Safety

Forensic Services

NEW HOURS OF OPERATION:

As of September 6, 2011, the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services will be open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm. If you have any further questions on hours of operation, please do not hesitate to call us. Our phone numbers can be found below in the "Contacts"

Evidence Intake Hours: The evidence section at the Central Lab (Salt Lake City) has new hours.

Monday and Friday - Closed (by appointment only)

Tuesday - Thursday - 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Upcoming Training

Crime Scene Specialist Training

Basic class: April 15-19, 2013

Advanced class: May 13-17, 2013

note: both classes will be held at the Larry H Miller Public Safety Complex in Sandy, UT. For more information, contact Bo Smilt at bosmith@utah.govRegistration forms can be found in the "Training" tab.

Who Are We?

The Utah Bureau of Forensic Services is the ASCLD/LAB International accredited state laboratory system that specializes in forensic science.   We offer all of our services free of charge to the police agencies of Utah.  Our areas of expertise are:

  • Forensic Biology:  Serology (Central and Northern Labs), DNA, CODIS
  • Forensic Chemistry: Controlled Substances (all labs), Fire Debris, Paint
  • Impressions: Footwear, Tire, Latent Print Processing, Latent Print Comparison, AFIS (Central Lab) and Latent Print Processing and Latent Print Comparison (Southern Lab)
  • Firearms/Tool marks: Physical Matches (Northern Lab)
  • We are currently in the process of preparing for accreditation in the following areas:  Crime Scene and Fibers

All services are performed at the Central Lab only unless stated otherwise

Our central lab is located at 4501 South 2700 West in Salt Lake City.  We also have two satellite labs located in Ogden (819 West 2nd St.) and Cedar City (351 West Center; SUU Tech Building room 109).  Along with the 2 satellite labs, we have 3 partner labs (Murray City Police, Cottonwood Heights Police, and the RCFL)

                                                                

Contacts

Need to talk to someone in the lab? Have a question about what we can analyze? Have questions about how to apply for an internship? Below are the contact numbers that will help you on your way!

Central Lab 801-965-4487 801-964-4544 (fax)
Biology 801-965-3870  or  801-964-4581  
Chemistry 801-965-4382  or  801-965-3833  
Impressions 801-964-4501  
Evidence 801-964-4547  
Northern Lab 801-393-4549 801-393-4574 (fax)
Southern Lab 435-865-8043 435-865-8727 (fax)
RCFL 801-456-4800 801-456-4899 (fax)
Crime Scene Response Team 801-638-7600  

DNA Acceptance Criteria:

The Utah Bureau of Forensic Services (UBFS) BIOLOGY section strives to provide rapid and reliable services to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the state of Utah.  UBFS makes every effort to provide the most current technologies available for Forensic DNA testing.  The demand for Forensic DNA analysis continues to increase as new technologies and new techniques become available, therefore the laboratory feels it is necessary to clarify the case acceptance policy for DNA cases.

The laboratory has implemented the following DNA case acceptance policy. Submitting agencies should make every effort to adhere to this policy when submitting cases to UBFS for Forensic DNA analysis. The laboratory has the authority to deny testing when cases do not meet laboratory specifications.

  • Crimes against a person: Including but not limited to homicides, sexual assaults, and aggravated assault, are the top priority in the laboratory. 
      • These cases will be given priority over all other cases. 
      • Detectives are encouraged to discuss the case with a serology/DNA analyst before analysis begins. 
      • Major cases involving multiple items of evidence may require a meeting between detectives, prosecutors, and analysts to screen the items of evidence in order to determine their probative value and the likelihood of DNA recovery.  All evidence should be submitted at the same time to avoid multiple submissions.
      • All standards including but not limited to: suspect, victim, elimination must be submitted before DNA analysis begins. Exceptions can be made for no-suspect type cases.
      • Not every sample in the case will be processed for DNA.  The determination of which samples to test for DNA will be discussed with the detective, analyst and/or prosecutors.  Priority will be given to biological samples over “trace” samples.
  • Property crimes: Including but not limited to theft, burglary, and robbery.
      • 2 items of evidence may be submitted for property crimes (includes question samples, excludes standards).
      • Only FELONY crimes will be analyzed for DNA.  Misdemeanor cases will not be analyzed.
      • All standards including but not limited to: suspect, victim, elimination must be submitted before DNA analysis begins. Exceptions can be made for no-suspect type cases.
      • “Biological” evidence (blood, semen, saliva) may be analyzed for DNA.
      • “Trace” DNA evidence must be the last or only piece of probative evidence in order for the item to be considered for DNA analysis.
      • All “trace” DNA evidence must be accompanied with a letter submitted from the prosecutor’s office allowing the laboratory to consume the sample.
  • Possession crimes: Including but not limited to gun possession and drug possession.
      • Drug possession cases will not be worked.
      • 2 items of evidence may be submitted for possession crimes (includes question samples, excludes standards).
      • Only FELONY crimes will be analyzed for DNA.  Misdemeanor cases will not be analyzed.
      • All standards including but not limited to: suspect, victim, elimination must be submitted before DNA analysis begins.
      • “Biological” evidence (blood, semen, saliva) may be analyzed for DNA.
      • “Trace” DNA evidence must be the last or only piece of probative evidence in order to be considered for DNA analysis.
      • All “trace” DNA evidence must be accompanied with a letter submitted from the prosecutor’s office allowing the laboratory to consume the sample.

*NOTE: possession sample profiles are not eligible for CODIS upload.

*NOTE: possession cases may require discussions with prosecutor to determine if the case will be prosecuted. It is the laboratory’s experience that results vary from possession gun cases.  Often times not enough DNA is recovered to make any statements as to the source of the DNA.  Often times multiple DNA donors are present and a statement such as “cannot exclude” is reported and may not be valuable to the prosecution.

  • Cold cases:
    • A meeting is required with a serology/DNA analyst to discuss the case when submitting a cold case to the laboratory for DNA analysis.
    • All evidence is to be discussed and prioritized prior to submission, to avoid multiple submissions.
    • The case will be reviewed and previous testing will be taken into consideration when determining what samples should be tested for DNA.
    • Priority is given to current and active cases over cold cases.

Additional Comments

  • In major cases it is valuable to have a meeting with UBFS analysts, detectives, prosecutors and crime scene personnel to prioritize the analysis of evidence and to discuss the case in its entirety to ensure the best analysis for each item of evidence.
  •    When a serology/DNA analyst has a question about a case it is very important for them to be able to contact the detective on the case for answers.  Please be open and available for these discussions.
  • Case priority is a first-in-first-out practice. 
  • If the need exists for RUSH analysis, inform the Biology Manager to ensure the case is analyzed in an expedited manner.

There are exceptions to every rule. If you have a question about a case or feel that your case requires DNA analysis, please feel free to call and discuss it with the Biology Manager.

Biology Manager, Chad Grundy, 801-957-8602

Biology Laboratory, 801-965-3870

What do I need to do to get a job in a crime laboratory?

The answer to this question is to first assess what you actually want to do. Television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigations have misrepresented the role of crime laboratory personnel. On television, the CSI investigators do it all, from collecting the evidence at the scene, analyzing it at the laboratory and performing follow-up interviews with suspects and finally, and making the arrest. This is not an accurate picture of most crime laboratory operations.

All of the above-mentioned investigation duties are typically broken down and given to different individuals in the criminal justice community. For instance, the crime scene technician performs the majority of crime scene processing in the field, criminalists analyze the evidence in the laboratory and police investigators perform all interviews and make the arrests.

Each one of the individuals is responsible for their own piece of the puzzle.

Click here for more information

                

Marijuana Identification and FIDO Programs

There is a list of certified examiners in both of these areas that has been published to this website.  Follow this LINK to see the list.

[Last Update - Friday, 08-Mar-2013 16:25:37 MST]