Police Department to Update Forensic Equipment

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Provided by Prince William County

The Prince William County Police Department will use $98,770 from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, of the U.S. Department of Justice, to replace existing, aging forensic equipment that is outdated, at the end of its lifecycle and insufficient to meet current demands.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently accepted, budgeted and appropriated the grant money to replace old cameras, a digital photograph printer, a super glue chamber used to capture fingerprints and an evidence drying bin.

The amateur digital cameras the department currently uses at crime scenes do not meet today’s standards. Photographs documenting crime scenes are routinely used in court and must be of the highest quality. Professional cameras with up-to-date features will allow the department’s crime scene unit to better document evidence at a crime scene.

The department’s Forensic Services Section photo lab prints thousands of photographs and documents annually. The printer the section currently uses has reached the end of its lifespan, and it is difficult to find parts to repair it. A new printer will ensure quality photographic prints.

The superglue, or cyanoacrylate, chamber is a tried and true method of lifting fingerprints from non-porous surfaces. The process needs the correct humidity to be effective. The department’s current chamber lacks humidity controls. A new fuming chamber with proper features will allow the forensic services section to better collect fingerprints.

The drying bin is used to safely airdry wet evidence to prevent mold that could contaminate DNA evidence.


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