Protecting the lives, property, and constitutional rights of people in Idaho since 1919.

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  • Accreditation

Welcome to Idaho State Police Forensic Services

A nationally accredited laboratory since 1987, ISO 17025:2005 accredited since 2007, serving all state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, state and county prosecutors, and public defenders.


Matthew Gamette
Matthew Gamette
Director of Forensic Services
208.884.7217
Cyndi Hall
Lab Improvement Manager
Phone: 208.884.7184

"We are proud of the hard work of all of our employees. Last month the Idaho State Police Forensic Services surpassed 26,000 convicted offender DNA samples in the state database. Over 12,000 samples were added in the last year. This is a tribute to the hard work of many dedicated scientists at the lab, ISP management, and the Idaho State Legislature. We also credit the staff and management at Idaho Department of Corrections for their hard work collecting these samples."

"The size of the Idaho database has grown almost exponentially in the last few years due to changes in state law, more efficient processing techniques, and more trained scientists. The lab will be even more effective this year as the laboratory validation was just approved by the FBI for the use of an expert computer system to assist with technical review of DNA database data. The convicted offender samples in the Idaho database are searched on a regular basis against homicides, sexual assaults, assaults, and other crimes from all over the country. The potential for a critical lead in an investigation increases each time a sample is added to the DNA database. We invite you to track the number of investigations aided through the Idaho DNA database program. We have added a hit counter to our webpage so that the public can see how many criminal investigations are aided with Idaho DNA database data."

Idaho Offender Hits to "Out of State Cases"   Idaho Offender Hits to "In-State Cases"
0 0 4 7   0 0 1 2
 

  Map of 3 Idaho Regions District 1 Lab District 3 Lab District 5 Lab  
Coeur d' Alene    
     
Meridian   Pocatello
     

Contact a Lab:







Evidence Submission

Customer Agreement (revised May 2010)

Where do I send my evidence?

How to Submit (Pre-Log) Evidence - Training Video

Submitting Pre-Log Evidence - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions and Tips


Handbook (pdf)

A sixteen page guide to handling biological stain and trace evidence, toxicology, firearms testing, footwear evidence, arson, and latent fingerprints.



⇓ Evidence Sealing Requirements/Submitting Sharps ⇓ (Click to view)

3.1
RECEIVING EVIDENCE - It is important to receive, handle, and process evidence in a manner, which preserves its integrity. It is essential to document the chain of custody on all evidence received.

3.1.1
Whenever possible, all evidence should be received by a technical records specialist. Controlled substances should never be transported or carried by personnel, either from scenes or to court.

3.1.2
Initial examination of evidence seals: Proper seals will include heat seal, tape seal or lock seal. A container is "properly sealed" only if its contents cannot readily escape and only if entering the container results in obvious damage/alteration to the container or its seal.

Standard evidence tape will be used to seal containers and must be initialed (or otherwise identified) to document the person sealing the evidence (scotch tape is not acceptable). Heat sealed packages must have initials or other identification across the heat seal to be properly sealed. Lock seals must be initialed or otherwise marked to document the person sealing the evidence. Staples may only be used if they are covered with evidence tape and the tape is initialed.

Packaged evidence received by a laboratory, which does not bear the initials or identification of the person sealing the evidence container, is not to be considered properly sealed. Manufactured seams do not need to be taped and initialed.

All evidence should be properly sealed by the submitting agency, however exceptions authorized by a supervisor may be made as required. ISP Forensics may provide a proper seal by: (1) placing a piece of evidence tape perpendicularly across the seal with the initials of the person receiving the evidence or (2) resealing the complete package in a heat sealed envelope or other container with proper initials. Forensic Services must ensure that evidence stored in ISP vaults is properly sealed. The technical records specialist has authority to reject evidence if it is not properly sealed.

3.1.3
ISP Forensic Services Procedure in regards to accepting syringes:

3.1.3.1

All of the following conditions must be adhered to for ISP Forensic Service to accept a syringe:

3.1.3.1.1
The agency must contact the appropriate Evidence Custodian from Forensic Services before the syringe and contents are submitted. That Evidence Custodian will ascertain that all the guidelines below are being followed, and notify the Lab Manager. The entire case will be returned without analysis, accompanied by a copy of this policy, if the Evidence Custodian is not contacted prior to the submission of the syringe.

3.1.3.1.2
The prosecutor associated with the case must submit a letter requesting the examination. The letter must state why it is necessary to the case for the contents of the syringe to be analyzed. This letter must arrive at the laboratory attached to the evidence or the evidence will be returned.

3.1.3.1.3
The syringe must be packaged in an approved biohazard safety tube. (An example of an approved biohazard safety tubes would be the "EVA-SAFE" safety tube displayed in the "Lab Safety Supply" catalog, catalog #0A-37946.)

3.1.3.1.4
Generally, an analysis of a syringe for drugs will only be performed if the case is a homicide or other exceptional/unusual case. Syringes shall not be accepted if other evidence is available which provides the same proof that the examination of the syringe would provide.

3.1.3.1.5
Syringes must be packaged separately if the syringe is part of a multi-exhibit case. The entire case will be returned if the syringe is not packaged separately.

As in the past, if the submitting agency chooses to submit an isopropyl alcohol or methanol rinse from a syringe, then this sample may be submitted to Forensic Services as a routine drug sample and this procedure does not apply.

3.1.4
Sharp or pointed objects or items with sharp edges (e.g., knives, razors, glass) should be confined within a material or package that renders them safe to handle.

ISP Forensics Services


Our Services

  • Analysis of physical evidence from crimes
  • Training to law enforcement officers
  • Assistance with crime scenes and clandestine drug labs
  • Court testimony
  • Management of statewide breath alcohol testing and training

Our Disciplines

The three laboratories of ISP Forensic Services play an important role in the criminal justice process. Scientific testimony can be a significant factor in the judicial resolution of criminal cases. The services provided by ISP Forensic Services are grouped into disciplines.

Alcohol / Volatiles

Alcohol / Volatiles

Breath Alcohol

Breath Alcohol

Controlled Substances

Controlled Substances

Crime Scene

Crime Scene

Field Services / Clandestine Labs

Clan Labs

Biology / DNA

DNA Biology

DNA Database

DNA Database

Fire Evidence

Fire Evidence

Firearms / Toolmarks

Firearms / Toolmarks

Footwear & Impressions

Footwear & Impressions

Latents

Latents

Serial Number Restoration

Serial Number Restoration

Toxicology

Toxicology

Current Analytical Methods

Note: All documents are uploaded, maintained, and certified by the ISPFS Quality Manager in the position of ISPFS Records Custodian.

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Obsolete/Outdated Analytical Methods

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ISP Forensic Services Forms

Combined Toxicology Evidence Submission Form

Ordering Evidence Envelopes, Sexual Assault Kits and Toxicology Kits.


Alcohol / Volatiles Forms
Biology / DNA Forms
Breath Alcohol Forms
BAT Instrument Maintenance Log - Update 1/4/2011
BAT Instrument Operation Log - Update 1/4/2011
BAT Simulator Solution Log - Update 1/4/2011
Controlled Substances Forms
Crime Scene Forms
DNA Database CODIS Forms
Field Services / Clandestine Labs Forms
Fire Evidence Forms
Firearms / Toolmarks Forms
Impressions Forms
Latent Prints Forms
Serial Number Restoration Forms
Toxicology Forms

DRE Form - Please note this form is in addition to the form in the kit. Both forms are needed.

Feedback

Let us know how we are doing by filling out this electronic survey.

ISP Forensic Services History

The unit had its beginnings in 1963 when the Division of Laboratories in the Department of Health established an analytical unit for the analysis of blood and breath alcohol for the Idaho State Police. In 1968, the state legislature funded a drug identification laboratory. Administratively, the lab was in the Board of Pharmacy but was physically housed in the State Health Lab. The Health Lab also provided toxicology services.

These services coalesced into one unit called the Forensic Section after Robert Dews was hired in 1972. Mr. Dews had experience in other areas of forensic analysis. Under his leadership, the Boise laboratory at the Health Lab on Old Penitentiary Road expanded into other forensic disciplines such as trace, serology, and firearms. Testing of breath alcohol samples and blood alcohol was performed in Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Twin Falls. However, by approximately 1982, the Forensic Section had operations only in the three locations that currently provide service; Boise/Meridian, Coeur d'Alene, and Pocatello. All three laboratories initially provided breath and blood analysis for the concentration of alcohol.

The Forensic Section was transferred to the Department of Law Enforcement from the Bureau of Laboratories in the Department of Health and Welfare July 1, 1988.

The Boise area laboratory moved from its location on Old Penitentiary Road to the Idaho State Police campus in Meridian when that complex was completed in 1994. The Meridian facility has been remodeled several times to accommodate more disciplines and more analysts. The Meridian laboratory began offering DNA examinations for DQA1 and the polymarker loci in April 1998. In 1996, a law was passed which authorized the creation of a database for the retention of DNA profiles of offenders convicted of specific crimes such as rape, homicide, etc. ISP Forensic Services began collecting those samples in 2000.

In 1974, the Coeur d'Alene laboratory began to offer drug analysis to law enforcement agencies in the northern part of the state as well as the alcohol examinations. The laboratory moved out of its facility in the Health Laboratory in February 1995, to a location at 1000 Hubbard as part of the Department of Law Enforcement. The laboratory moved again in 2009 to the new ISP District 1 Linda Huff combined facility on Wilbur Road.

By 1974, the Pocatello laboratory was staffed with two analysts who provided examinations in controlled substances, blood alcohol and breath alcohol. In 1989, the laboratory moved to a much larger facility at 209 E. Lewis as part of the Department of Law Enforcement.

All three laboratories that are a part of ISP Forensic Services sought and obtained accreditation with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) in 1987. The laboratories have maintained that accreditation up to the present. The laboratory system was accredited under the ISO 17025:2005 standards with ASCLD/LAB in 2007, and continues with that accreditation.

The name of the Department changed to Idaho State Police July 1, 1999 and the Bureau of Forensic Services became ISP Forensic Services. In addition, the Identification Section of the Bureau of Criminal Identification was transferred to Forensic Services. The unit provides latent print examinations and supports the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

In a continuing quest to meet national quality standards, many of the technical staff members have been certified by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC), International Association for Identification as Certified Latent Print Examiners (CPLE), or by the International Association for Identification as Certified Crime Scene Investigators (CCSI). Forensic Services has five members of The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), and two members of The Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers (AFQAM). Forensic Services staff are members of many professional organizations including, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), The Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists (NWAFS), The Clandestine Laboratory Investigating Chemists Association (CLIC), The International Association for Identification (IAI), The Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), The Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE), and The Pacific Northwest Division of the International Association for Identification (PNWD-IAI).

The laboratory began with one part-time employee in 1963 and has grown to 39 full or part time employees in 2013. Besides being a full service forensic laboratory system, ISP Forensic Services provides training to state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and hospital personnel. The coming years will see ISP Forensic Services continue to contribute fair and impartial scientific analysis to the criminal justice system. Incorporation of improved analytical methods and continuing quality assurance programs will assure the perpetuation of high standards currently maintained by the unit.

Forensic Services Newsletter

This newsletter provides information on ISP Forensic Services. This newsletter is distributed to Police Chiefs and Sheriffs as a customer service and information tool.Forensics Newsletter

Sign up for email delivery of the Forensic Services Newsletter.

Archived issues

Careers in ISP Forensic Sciences


Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities page of the ASCLD
A range of positions across the United States is generally showcased on this page of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors website.



Job Opportunities List from the AAFS
The American Academy of Forensic Sciences manages this list of openings listed by job title. Offerings range from chemists and technicians to forensic artists.



Current Job Openings with the Idaho State Police

Interns:

Forensic Services offers unpaid internships in each of our three laboratories. Individuals considering internships should consult the list of services available in each laboratory. Interns must be students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree (or in possession of a degree) in a natural science major related to forensic science (e.g. Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Physics). ISP Forensic Services gives preference to students with experience using instrumentation or techniques used in a crime laboratory. Each intern must be advised/supervised by a member of the ISPFS analytical staff. Interns should first contact the lab manager of the ISPFS lab where they desire to intern. The lab manager will consider the preparation of the applicant, the needs of the laboratory, and the current workload of the ISPFS analysts. Interns are encouraged to complete a project during their experience and should work with their educational advisor to propose a project to ISPFS. Internship projects that match ISPFS research interests are more likely to gain the applicant an internship. Interns are expected to maintain a mutually agreed upon schedule during the internship. Internship durations are at the discretion of the lab manager. Internships are usually available at any time during the year. After gaining laboratory manager approval, interns work with ISP human resources to obtain ISP required forms. Interns must successfully complete an ISP background check and polygraph test before starting the internship. ISPFS does not offer compensation, housing, or per-diem to interns.

Applying with ISPFS:

ISPFS posts all analytical openings on the AAFS, ASCLD, and Idaho Division of Human Resources websites. The State of Idaho Division of Human Resources provides current job descriptions, salary information, applications, current openings, and an overview of benefits. The current job titles in ISP Forensic Services are Forensic Evidence Specialist, Forensic Scientist 1, Forensic Scientist 2, Forensic Scientist 3, Forensic Scientist 4/DNA, Forensic Scientist 4/Impression Evidence, LIMS Administrator/Programmer, Forensic Laboratory Manager, Laboratory Improvement Manager/Quality Manager, and Major/Manager.

  • Analysts must have at least a bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry or a closely related science field from a regionally accredited college or university. Forensic Science and Criminal Justice degrees must meet ISPFS coursework requirements with a heavy emphasis on science coursework.
  • Instrumental analysis and quantitative analysis is required for controlled substance analysts.
  • Coursework in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Genetics is required for work in DNA.
  • Forensic internships, work experience, publications, and memberships may increase the applicant score.
  • All ISPFS employees must successfully complete the ISP background investigation and polygraph examination.

ISP Forensic Sciences Accreditation

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Idaho State Police Headquarters
700 S. Stratford Drive, Meridian, ID 83642
208.884.7000