Crime Laboratory Division· Overview
The Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory Division operates five multi-service crime laboratories in Seattle, Tacoma, Marysville, Spokane, Vancouver and limited-service crime laboratories including the Kennewick, Tumwater (Latents Fingerprints) and the CODIS Laboratory in Seattle. The laboratories provide quality forensic services for criminal justice agencies within the state of Washington.
All of our laboratories are accredited through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratories Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) and provide quality forensic services for criminal justice agencies within the state of Washington (RCW 43.43.670).
Crime Laboratory Services & Support
The laboratories play a vital role in the criminal justice process providing high quality investigative information by identifying evidence or linking evidence in major crimes to an individual or a scene. Scientific testimony is often the deciding factor in the judicial resolution of criminal cases. To support demands, forensic laboratory services are grouped into disciplines performing the following services:
Items of evidence are analyzed for body fluids such as blood, semen, saliva and touch DNA. DNA testing of these samples is performed as necessary using STRs and YSTRs. DNA profiles generated from evidence samples are uploaded and searched in state and national DNA databases. Hits to convicted offenders are reported back to the submitting agency.
CODIS Laboratory (felon database program)
The WSP CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) Laboratory generates DNA profiles from convicted offenders for the state and national databases. In accordance with legislative mandate (RCW 43.43.752 - 43.43.759), the CODIS Laboratory receives and types DNA samples from individuals who have been convicted of a felony, are required to register as a sex or kidnapping offender, or have been convicted of certain misdemeanors. (For a complete list of the qualifying offenses please see RCW 43.43.754.) These samples are collected by law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities across the state using DNA collection kits provided by the WSP CODIS Laboratory. Training resources for our collecting agencies are listed below:
In addition to the convicted offenders, there are four other database indexes:
DNA casework analysts type samples for these indexes. Profiles generated from evidence samples are entered into the state database and searched against samples in other indexes as appropriate.
Eligible offender and casework profiles are subsequently uploaded to the National CODIS databank which links information from all fifty states. Investigative leads may be generated at the state or national level as follows:
Scientists in this functional area examine and compare firearms, ammunition components, gunshot residues for distance determinations, and tool marks. These scientists also reconstruct shooting scenes, restore obliterated serial numbers, and image fired ammunition components for inclusion in the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS)/ National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) for links to other criminal events.
Scientists in this functional area examine and compare trace materials such as hairs, fibers, glass, paint, impression evidence, soils, and other miscellaneous materials. These scientists also examine explosives and post-blast explosive residues, and conduct blood stain pattern analysis.
Scientists in this functional area identify controlled substances, pharmaceuticals, materials from clandestine drug laboratories, ignitable liquids in fire debris, selected poisons, and chemical unknowns.
Scientists in this functional area examine and compare handwriting, hand printing, altered documents, indented writing, machine-generated documents, paper, and ink.
Latent Fingerprint Identification
Scientists in this functional area process evidence for latent prints and compare the prints to those from known individuals. These scientists also enter prints into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and search a variety of computerized databases for matches to known individuals.
Crime Scene Assistance
Participating scientists provide crime scene assistance to local law enforcement agencies investigating major crimes. These scientists assist the local agency with evidence recognition, evidence collection, blood stain pattern analysis and trajectory determinations, scene documentation, and scene reconstruction. For more information, or for crime scene assistance, contact the Crime Scene Response Team.Back to Top
Forms and Publications
Below is a list of available forms, brochures and publications for the Crime Laboratory Division.
Criminal Justice Training Services
Upon request, the Crime Laboratory Division provides training for criminal justice agencies within the state of Washington in the following areas:
Crime Laboratory Directory
Crime Laboratory Division - Seattle
Crime Laboratory Division - Kennewick
Crime Laboratory Division - Marysville
Crime Laboratory Division - Spokane
Crime Laboratory Division - Tacoma
Crime Laboratory Division - Vancouver
Crime Laboratory Division - CODIS
Crime Laboratory Division - Latent Prints
Crime Laboratory Division Headquarters
Crime Laboratory Division - Washington State Patrol
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