WASHINGTON-- In honor of National Forensic Science Week, Congressman Russ Fulcher introduced a resolution to recognize the hard work of forensic science laboratories in support of justice and public safety.
Forensic science is a critical component of police investigatory work, analyzing DNA, ballistics, drugs and toxicology, fingerprint analysis, trace evidence, and digital signatures on software applications. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies rely heavily on the work of forensic science. In the fight against the illegal opioid drug trade and illegal drugs, forensic labs can help validate the accuracy of the identity and quantity of controlled substances. Forensic science supports law enforcement in dealing with drug crimes that include detecting drugs at crime scenes, in cargo, and at transit hubs throughout the shipment process.
Idaho is a leader in the field of forensic science, as demonstrated by:
- Idaho was the first state in the country to fully implement a sexual assault kit tracking system. Led by Idaho State Police forensic services, Idaho tracks and tests all sexual assault kits.
- Idaho has revolutionized the performance of toxicology testing in the state. Most DUI/DUID cases are tested within 45 days, and a number of drugs are now being quantitated to help in criminal prosecutions.
- All drug cases in Idaho have a 10-day turnaround time, helping investigators and courts receive their evidence in a very timely manner.
- This year, Idaho is developing one of the most robust data sharing systems in the country for the identification of emerging drug trends. Idaho will be one of the first in the country to develop a test method for quantitating marijuana so that the state can comply with the federal farm bill related to interstate commerce of industrial hemp.
Rep. Fulcher commented, “This week of recognition of forensic science is extremely important-- not only to recognizing our law enforcement and forensic scientists who rely on timely, reliable data to complete their jobs, but also for families who want answers to crimes that have affected them, and for men and women who have experienced extreme trauma. I am very proud to be representing one of the leading states in forensic science and encourage all states to look to Idaho for leadership on best practices in this space.”
National Forensic Science Week recognizes the important contribution forensic science makes to help in the investigation of crimes, in the prosecution and conviction of correct perpetrators, and in the exoneration of innocent individuals falsely accused of crimes. The resolution also encourages policymakers, local, state, and federal leaders, and media outlets to tour forensic science laboratories and attend community events sponsored by local forensic science labs.