Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2003, $496,750)
The City of Whittier Forensic Team currently has a limited forensic capability within the jurisdiction of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs. Current processes and capabilities are antiquated and outdated. The Forensic Team provides temporary storage for evidence using a property storage room and freezer, which mixes seized property with forensic evidence and stretches capacity for properly managing both types of evidence. Currently, the Department has incomplete development capability for fingerprints, and no modern tools for identifying the presence or position of biological residues (that may contain DNA) at crime scenes. The overall goal of this project is to provide additional, more reliable and powerful analytical capabilities. The cities of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs will benefit from these improved capabilities by having accurate, readily available and sustainable information generated from crime scenes and forensic examinations. The updating of outdated technology will reduce turnaround time while providing state-of-the-art testing and cataloging of evidence. Specific tools and materials to be acquired include: an alternate light source for visualizing trace evidence; equipment to improve sequential latent print enhancement and facilitate comparisons; materials to enhance crime scene documentation accuracy and robustness; tools to improve the recovery of evidence and reduce the chance for cross contamination; storage equipment for physical and electronic documents, evidence and work materials; and audio/video recovery tools.