Thursday, September 22, 2022

St. Mary's Sheriff's Office Crime Lab Provides Forensic Support

St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab: Megan Roberts, Jazmin Summers, Brittany Groat, Carleigh Ruleman and Jessica Barnard (not pictured) 

The Ninth Annual National Forensic Science Week is this week, Sept. 18-24, 2022, and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is celebrating the hardworking men and women that make up forensic laboratories around the country, including our own Crime Lab. 

Forensic Science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws and plays a critical role in the criminal justice system. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab is located at the District 3 station in California and is currently staffed by four Crime Lab Technicians, one Fingerprint Technician, and one Crime Lab Supervisor. Technicians are available to respond to calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Crime Lab Technicians are specially trained in various aspects of forensics and all hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a physical science. Technicians respond to crime scenes to identify, document, collect and preserve items of evidence.

When not in the field, technicians are busy in the laboratory processing evidence. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab maintains a high standard for quality work and seeks to continuously advance the laboratory with modern technology. Recently, the laboratory procured the most advanced image capturing system in the world, the Full Spectrum Imaging System (FSIS). The FSIS utilizes different wavelengths of light and filters, to allow technicians to see and digitally capture, high resolution images, in real time, evidence otherwise invisible to the naked eye including: altered documents, urine, semen, saliva, blood, GSR, dye-stained prints and obliterated serial numbers. In addition, technicians process evidence for latent prints and touch DNA, conduct presumptive testing, test fire confiscated firearms for NIBIN entry, obtain and review video surveillance, extract digital media and much more.

“The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab is a dedicated and professional team," said Captain Edward Willenborg, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division. "Our detectives in the Criminal Investigations Division could not successfully complete their investigations without the outstanding work of our Crime Lab.”  

Jazmin Summers at the Full Spectrum Imaging System 

Brittany Groat takes a photo of evidence 

Crime Lab Supervisor Megan Roberts looks into the contents of a smart phone 

Carleigh Ruleman using a bullet trap