In this sixth episode of the National Institute of Justice's Forensic Technology Center of Excellence's Just Science Podcast, Dr. Paul Speaker, an Associate Professor at West Virginia University, discusses the FORESIGHT program, which helps crime laboratories manage their finances and track their performance by using data.
Dr. Speaker's research has focused on economic modeling, including regulated industries, business valuation, process engineering, financial institutions, the role of not-for-profit institutions, the impact of technology, and the business of forensics. His teaching areas include corporate finance and business valuation. FORESIGHT emphasizes the importance of viewing and managing a crime laboratory as a business and presenting it as such when seeking funding from legislatures and other entities. Dr. Speaker discusses the jurisdictional aspects of a crime laboratory's work, which requires that the laboratory's size and resources be related to the needs and demands of the jurisdiction rather than a competitive market. Issues of jurisdictional priorities in public safety will determine the priorities of crime lab resource uses. Efficient crime lab management thus involves setting performance measures and resource needs according to investigative priorities and the resources needed for forensic work related to those priorities.