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

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  • Evidence Submission
  • Our Services & Disciplines
  • Analytical Methods
  • Forms
  • Forensic Training
  • Customer Feedback
  • History
  • Newsletters & Notices
  • Careers
  • Accreditation & Staff CV´s
  • Sexual Assault Kit Tracking

Welcome to Idaho State Police Forensic Services

Serving state, local, and federal law enforcement, state and county prosecutors, and public defenders.
Director Forensic Services
Matthew Gamette
Director of Forensic Services
Cyndi Hall
Cyndi Hall
Lab Improvement Manager
Phone: 208.884.7184

Proud of our Scientists!

12/1/2017 – Recently the laboratory system has been featured in several newspapers and on television news.  The stories have largely focused on increases in casework being submitted to the lab and the straining effects that has on the laboratory and especially on the scientists.  I believe it is critical for the public to know how hard ISPFS scientists and administrators work for the citizens of the state of Idaho.  Almost every weekend and holiday I have observed our analysts working hard on rush cases needed by the courts in Idaho.  They work extra hours in the morning and late into the night to ensure that the lab is a timely and responsive cog in the criminal justice system in Idaho.  Clicking on the “our services and disciplines” tab of this website will allow you to look at the statistics for turnaround times and cases worked.  One example of this hard work is in our chemistry units.  Our 7 chemists worked 875 cases last month. That is astounding, and well beyond the national average for productivity.  This is the rule rather than the exception at ISPFS.  This happens in every one of our laboratory disciplines.  Quarterly surveys routinely show how happy our customers are with the staff at ISPFS. We are strategically planning new facilities, we are asking for new instrumentation and analysts, and we are currently looking for unique solutions to cope with the increase of submissions to the laboratory. It is critical that victims, suspects, law enforcement, and the courts have timely answers to their forensic science case questions.  We recently held an open house at our Pocatello laboratory to highlight the beautiful new lab there.  We thank the legislature for that new facility!!!  It will immediately increase the case capacity of that laboratory.  When you watch the news about crime in Idaho each night, remember that behind the scenes there is likely a forensic scientist at ISP working hard on that case to provide the court with information that will hopefully lead to a conviction of the true perpetrators and exoneration of all innocents. Idaho can be proud to have the best forensic scientists in the country!

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

Contact a Lab:

Evidence Submission

ISPFS Evidence Handling Presentation

Customer Agreement (revised Jan 2015)

Breath Alcohol Instrument Disclosure Notification

Where do I send my evidence?

ISP Financial Investigations / Cybercrime Unit

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

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

See "Quality System" folder in "Current Analytical Methods" for the Prelog user´s manual

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

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.

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.

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.

Requirements for syringes with needles:

15.8.1.b.1  Forensic Services does not accept syringes with needles or which have had the needles cut, except in the carefully controlled manner described below.  However, if the submitting agency chooses to submit a needleless syringe or a rinse from a syringe with a needle, then the sample may be submitted to Forensic Services as a routine case without going through the protective measures described below.

15.8.1.b.2  The agency shall contact the appropriate Forensic Services Forensic Evidence Specialist or Laboratory Manager BEFORE the syringe with needle (from here on referred to as syringe) and contents are submitted.  That Forensic Evidence Specialist or Lab Manager shall ascertain that all the guidelines below are being followed. The Lab Manager shall be notified if the communication is with the FES.  The other items in the case may also be returned without analysis, accompanied by a copy of this policy, if the Forensic Evidence Specialist or Lab Manager is not contacted prior to the submission of the syringe.

15.8.1.b.3  The prosecutor associated with the case shall submit a letter requesting the examination.  The letter shall state why it is necessary to the case for the contents of the syringe to be analyzed.  This letter shall arrive at the laboratory attached to the evidence, or emailed or faxed to the laboratory prior to submission, or the evidence shall be returned. 

15.8.1.b.3  The syringe shall be packaged in an appropriate biohazard safety tube. 

15.8.1.b.4  Generally, analysis of a syringe shall only be performed if the case is a death investigation 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.

15.8.1.b.5  Syringes shall be packaged separately if the syringe is part of a multi-exhibit case.  If the syringe is not packaged separately, the entire case shall be returned.


ISP Forensics Services

ISPFS Evidence Analysis Turnaround

(Please contact the lab if a specific case needs a quicker turnaround time to meet court requirements)


Alcohol / Volatiles


Breath Alcohol Inst.


Controlled Substances


Biology Screening

Sexual Assault Kits  



DNA Database


Fire Evidence


Firearms / Toolmarks


Footwear & Impressions


Latent Prints


Blood Toxicology


Urine Toxicology

ISPFS Average Turnaround Goals (in days)
  30   30   30   30 90   30   30   30   30   30   30   30   30  
Current ISPFS Average Turnaround (in days)
  13   < 30   24   82 N/A   223   39   26   35   N/A   95   69   64  

ISPFS Longest Anticipated Turnaround Time (in days)

  28   30   56   147 381   381   45   47   168   N/A   214   146   68  
Number of Cases Currently in Lab Longer than Stategic Turnaround Time (in days)
  0   0   70   102 106   171   1   1   8   N/A   341   88   19  

Data As Of 12/31/2017

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

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


FY 2016

Cases Completed
Number of Items
Blood Alcohol
Controlled Substances
Fire Debris
Latent Prints/Fingerprints
Blood Toxicology
Urine Toxicology

FY 2017

Cases Completed
Number of Items
Blood Alcohol
Controlled Substances
Fire Debris
Latent Prints/Fingerprints
Blood Toxicology
Urine 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 Since September 2016

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Obsolete/Outdated Analytical Methods Before September 2016

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ISP Forensic Services Forms

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Alcohol / Volatiles Forms
Biology / DNA Forms
Breath Alcohol Forms

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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 used by DRE officers and if used should be submitted with the evidence.

ISPFS will be offering forensic science specific training as requested in 2017 with a target audience of Prosecutors, Public Defenders, Judges, and Law Enforcement. Please contact Stefani Herridge or Dalee Shoemaker 208.232.9474 to request training events. These are updates on the disciplines and opportunities to address questions directly to the scientists and evidence staff. They are not POST certified courses.


DNA/DNA Database
Latent Prints/Impression Evidence
Alcohol/Toxicology/Breath Alcohol
Controlled Substances/Arson 

Scheduled Training Events

Sexual Assault Kit Tracking Software Training







































2/17/2017 3:00 pm NHTSA/ISPFS Toxicology Presentation Meridian Police Department Training Facility Closed Meeting
2/8/2017 to 2/10/2017 TBD IPAA Presentations Grove Hotel Registration Required
7/25/2017 TBD DRE Conference Meridian Marriott Closed Meeting



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.

Forensics Newsletter

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.

Sign up for email delivery of the Forensic Services Newsletter.

Archived issues

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Public Notices

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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


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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ISP Staff Curriculum Vitae

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

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Idaho Sexual Assault Kit Audit 2016

Sexual Assault Kit
Survey Data Media Release

Totals for All Data

Additional Kit Data

Downloadable Files

Sexual Assault Kit Audit By Agency 2016.pdf
Sexual Assault Kit Audit Report 2016.xlsx

Sexual Assault Kit Audit Report 2016

Idaho State Police Headquarters
700 S. Stratford Drive, Meridian, ID 83642
Headquarters: 208.884.7000
Emergencies:  208.846.7550 | 208.209.8730