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During the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors’ (ASCLD) 46th Annual Symposium, the Chandler PD Forensic Laboratory was one of 14 labs that were presented with the Foresight Maximus Award, a distinction recognizing the top performing forensic laboratories in the world based on Foresight business metrics.
The Chandler PD Forensic Service Section (FSS) was the first municipal lab in Arizona to achieve and maintain international accreditation since 2011. In 2019, FSS successfully completed an intense and rigorous inspection of over 400 standards to achieve re-accreditation and secured accreditation status for another four years. Accreditation is a continual process that requires a commitment to provide forensic analyses of the highest quality to Arizona’s Criminal Justice System.
In 2019, nine of the 21 FSS employees with expertise in forensic disciplines were technical assessors for the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB). As a result, these employees were invited to forensic laboratories across the United States to be a part of assessment teams. Assessment teams conducted audits of laboratories for compliance with current accreditation standards. Not only did this increase their understanding and knowledge of accreditation, but also helped to strengthen the quality of the forensic science field on a national level.
The FSS in-house forensic scientists processed 818 blood-alcohol cases, 945 drug cases, and 1,347 latent print analyses, which included 247 comparisons generated by AFIS hits that may identify investigative leads in criminal cases. The Crime Scene Unit responded to 4,079 crime scenes ranging from vehicle burglaries to major crimes such as homicide and sex assault.
FSS staff educated the public about forensic science using creative, hands-on activities at the annual Science Spectacular. Participants used forensic skills to search for latent prints, locate and collect important evidence, and swab and compare DNA samples. In addition to the Science Spectacular, FSS was involved in multiple community events. In 2019, personnel participated in Citizen’s Academy, Youth Academy, Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN), Pizza with Police, Safety and Veteran’s Event (SAVE), Annual Public Safety Fair, Seeds of Abuse, Boys and Girls Club Shop with a Cop, and Women in the Workforce symposium at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
With additional savings, a number of other modifications were made to the vehicles. These included:
To highlight these changes, a training video was made to educate the Department’s Patrol employees. This video was shared with two of the up-fitting product vendors. One, in turn, posted the video on their social media site, garnering over fifty-thousand views and many inquiries. Some agencies have reached out directly to the Chandler Police Department about this unique set up design. In appreciation for the amount of attention they received, one of the vendors donated two complete set ups to the Department for 2018 builds.
Leveraging technology for improved fleet management, the team worked with the Police Technology Section to create a paperless vehicle service ticket and damage log. This new system tracks all work requests and logs turn-around time for each request, while maintaining work history and mileage information for each vehicle. This eliminates the need for a paper log for when a vehicle sustains minor damage. A future project is to convert the vehicle inspection sheet to electronic format as well.
Other accomplishments this year include the following: