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Police Department

Forensic Biology / DNA Unit

Supervisor Tabitha Bandy

The Forensic Biology/DNA Unit uses high quality service to detect, collect, and interpret the results from biological evidence. Comprised of two mutually exclusive but overlapping disciplines, forensic serology and forensic DNA, the unit will examine various types of evidence to find biological materials containing potential DNA. Analysis of the DNA can provide investigative leads, identify potential suspects, and assist in court proceedings.

Forensic biology lab equipmentThe role of forensic serology is to detect and identify biological evidence such as blood and semen. Highly skilled analysts may use specialized equipment to locate possible biological stains, and then conduct appropriate chemical and microscopic testing to confirm and identify the type of the biological material present. Blood, semen, and saliva are good sources for obtaining a DNA profile. In addition to bodily fluids, epithelial cells, or skin cells, contain DNA.

Additional forensic biology lab equipmentThe Forensic Biology Unit utilizes methods and instrumentation to obtain reliable results. A multi-step process, forensic DNA analysis consists of extracting DNA from biological material, quantitating the DNA to determine if human and/or male DNA is present, amplifying the DNA, and finally, interpreting the DNA data. The actual DNA profile is achieved through the amplification of 22 short tandem repeats, or STRs, providing greater statistical weight to the DNA results (The FBI uses 13 core STRs for CODIS data basing). The generated profiles are compared to reference DNA samples for potential contributors of the screened biological evidence.