U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group — Opening a New Channel to Improve Forensics

Date Published
August 27, 2018

“I’m very pleased to welcome the newly created Working Group members and grateful for their willingness to take part in this important endeavor. I look forward to hearing their valuable input and working together toward strengthening the relationship between the Justice Department and forensic science practitioners.”

David Muhlhausen, NIJ Director

The National Institute of Justice continues our efforts to improve federal coordination with state and local forensic science laboratories. As part of this effort, the department is announcing the newly selected members of the recently created Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG).

This effort underscores the department’s commitment to creating an effective network of crime labs across the country. The working group will provide objective and independent knowledge and expertise, ensuring that research and implementation of forensic technology is relevant and responsive to the laboratory operations needs of the forensic science community.

The group includes laboratory directors from across the country, representing large and small, urban and rural facilities. Representatives from independent laboratories and those organized by law enforcement agencies are included, as well as leaders in the field of forensic science research.

Housed at NIJ and supported by NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, the new working group is the product of department-sponsored listening sessions held with forensic science practitioners and stakeholders. The group will hold its inaugural meeting this fall, followed with biannual meetings.

NIJ believes that this FLN-TWG model, that includes practitioners supported by researchers, is the best path forward and will ensure that resources are focused appropriately to keep pace with the increasing demand for services. The FLN-TWG will explore new ways to increase casework efficiencies and implement forensic technology innovations that will advance system-based strategies and lead to a stronger justice system and safer communities.

The FLN-TWG members are:

  • Jose Almirall, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director, Center for Advanced Research in Forensic Science, Florida International University
  • Kevin Ardoin, Laboratory Director, Acadiana Criminalistics Laboratory, Louisiana
  • Les Barnett, Director, Center for Forensics, Information Technology and Security, University of South Alabama
  • Angelo Della Manna, Director, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences
  • Matthew Gamette, Laboratory System Director, Idaho State Police Forensic Services
  • Jan Girten, Deputy Director, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Forensic Services
  • Wesley P. Grose, Director, Scientific Services Bureau, Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
  • Arlene Hall, Commander, Forensic Sciences Command, Illinois State Police
  • Lesley Hammer, Hammer Forensics, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Brian Hoey, Laboratory System Director, Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Linda Jackson, Director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science
  • Sarah Kerrigan, Professor, Department of Forensic Science, Sam Houston State University
  • Timothy Kupferschmid, Chief of Laboratories, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner
  • Troy Lawrence, Sergeant, Digital Forensic Laboratory, Fort Worth Police Department
  • Steven O’Dell, Chief, Science & Management Services Division, Baltimore Police Department
  • Tim Rorhrig, Director, Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, Kansas
  • Jenifer Smith, Director, District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences
  • Paul Speaker, Professor, College of Business & Economics, West Virginia University
  • Stephanie Stoiloff, Senior Police Bureau Commander, Forensic Services Bureau, Miami-Dade Police Department
  • Peter Stout, President, CEO, Houston Forensic Science Center
  • Peter Vallone, Leader, Applied Genetics Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Jody Wolf, Crime Lab Administrator, Phoenix Police Department Crime Lab

Date Created: August 27, 2018