AN ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING SYSTEM INSTALLED IN THE NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE FORENSIC SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY CENTER TRACKS THE CONTROLS NEEDED TO MAINTAIN FORENSIC SAMPLES IN THE DNA UNIT.
When Assistant DNA Laboratory Director, Edward LaRue, reports to work at the new state-of-the-art DNA Laboratory at the New Jersey State Police Technology Center, he now has the convenience of being able to check the prior night’s DNA run data at his own computer, from his own desk. The lab’s other Assistant DNA Laboratory Director, Joe Petersack, and five lab supervisors are provided the same level of efficiency, enabling each to separately bring up their environmental monitoring system and check graphs and charts that indicate trends in room and instrument temperature in their various lab environments. Each individual lab supervisor can now troubleshoot and do preventive maintenance based on recordkeeping information stored electronically 24/7. They have neverlost evidence nor had evidence degraded. How have they accomplished this?
Who? What? When? Where? Why?
The New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences is located in the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Technology Complex in Hamilton, NJ. It is a 200,000 sq. ft., state owned, full service building of which 50% is lab space with 10,000 sq. ft. allocated for the DNA Unit alone. It is run under the jurisdiction of the Department of Law and Public Safety/Office of the Attorney General and services every state and municipal police agency in NJ. The NJSP maintains a CODIS (combined DNA Indexing System) database of convicted felons and uploads profiles to the FBI’s national DNA indexing system (NDIS). The NJSP Office of Forensic Sciences moved in to validate in January 2004 and startedactual casework in March 2004.
When the lab director reports to work, he can check
the prior night’s DNA run data at his own computer,
from his own desk.
Prior to the building of the present space, the laboratory was located in Ewing, NJ, having been leased in 1997. The building wasn’t designed to be a forensic lab and they had to retrofit the old building to accommodate their needs. This facility was quickly outgrown. When the decision was made to build the new facility, LaRue and the existing staff of six supervisors were fortunate to be called upon to assist in the design of the new lab, working with the architects in regard to structural considerations.