This episode five of the Forensic Advancement season of the Just Science podcast series sponsored by the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) consists of interviews with Katie Fetherston, Brian Hoey, and Jeremy Triplett regarding the efforts of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors' (ASCLD's) Rapid DNA Committee.
Each of the interviewees is on a subcommittee that is addressing some aspect of rapid DNA processing and how it can be managed to ensure quality control and the management of results. Rapid DNA involves the automation of the processing of a buccal swab or other potential DNA sample to obtain the DNA of the contributor. This makes it possible for trained investigators to use a hand-held rapid DNA device in the field with results within 2 hours, instead of having to rely on lengthy laboratory DNA processing. Issues discussed in this interview include coordination and guidance for law enforcement and lab personnel, as well as vendors of rapid DNA devices, so as to ensure knowledgeable purchases and use of such devices, as well as how processing and results are managed to ensure quality control and the proper development and uses of databases of rapid DNA profiles. Those interviewed envision significant benefits for the more rapid identification of suspects and victims by rapid DNA devices; however, training of users, quality control to ensure accuracy, possible certification of users, and the management of resulting DNA databases are all matters being discussed by committees of law enforcement and forensic lab practitioners, managers, and policymakers.