This article introduces the forensic laboratory workforce calculator, a tool that any forensic laboratory may use to evaluate its current personnel allocation and estimate any under- or over-staffing to meet current or estimated caseloads.
The 2019 NIJ Report to Congress on the needs of the forensic science community highlighted the staffing deficit of forensic scientists by more than 900 positions. The Report emphasized the impact of the opioid crisis and the evolution of synthetic opioids on the demands for forensic laboratories. The resource drain attributable to the opioid crisis has filtered into all other areas of investigation as laboratories divert limited resources from other uses to meet the high demand in drug chemistry and toxicology from opioid abuse. The forensic laboratory workforce calculator profiled in this article is available free to any laboratory through the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence website. (publisher abstract modified)