Forensic Services Laboratory
The mission of the BCSO Forensic Services to provide the citizens of Beaufort County with quality forensic services in order to assist in the control of crime and the administration of justice. This mission is accomplished through the collaborative efforts of forensic scientists and analysts with the greatest degree of professionalism and ethics. Established methods and procedures are used to ensure the quality, integrity, and reliability of scientific conclusions.
About the Laboratory
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office’s is an internationally accredited laboratory. The laboratory was awarded its accreditation through ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board/FQS-Forensic Quality Services- International (FQS-), based on ISO/IEC17025:2005 internationally developed and approved standards. The laboratory primarily provides services to law enforcement agencies within Beaufort County but will also assist agencies of the surrounding counties. The primary responsibilities of the scientists are to: provide technical assistance and training, evaluate and analyze evidence, interpret results and provide expert testimony related to the analyses of physical evidence recovered from a criminal incident and submitted for examination. The laboratory consists of two sections: Forensic Biology/DNA and Forensic Chemistry /Controlled Substances and Ignitable Liquids.
Forensic Chemistry Section
Controlled Substances: Examiners in the Controlled Substances Section analyze materials for the presence of controlled substances. Both chemical and instrumental techniques are used to conduct analyses. Controlled substances may be present in substrates that include powders, solid materials, liquids, plant material, mushrooms, blotter paper, and food items. In addition, the section examines pharmaceutical preparations in the form of tablets, capsules, injectables and transdermal patches. Examiners will also analyze evidence that is related to the suspected clandestine manufacture of controlled substances.
Ignitable Liquids: Examiners analyze material recovered from suspected arson crime scenes. Extractions are performed and identifications are made using the gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS). Analysis is typically for the presence or absence of ignitable liquids.
Forensic Biology Section
Examiners in the Forensic Biology Section routinely examine items of evidence for the presence of biological material. After the proper samples for comparison purposes are obtained, DNA analysis can be conducted on these stains, and conclusions can be drawn as to whether an individual can be eliminated or included as a possible contributor to the genetic material identified. In cases in which a suspect has not yet been identified or an identified suspect has been eliminated, the DNA profile obtained from the evidence can be entered in the DNA Data Bank and searched at the local, state, and national levels for possible matches to convicted offenders, arrestees, and/or other crime scene samples.
Additional Forensic Services
Digital and Multimedia Evidence (DME) Section
The Digital & Multimedia Evidence (DME) Section encompasses the preservation, acquisition, processing and analysis of electronically stored information (ESI). Digital Forensics involves the scientific examination and analysis of electronic information stored on a wide variety of computer, mobile and digital-storage devices, such as Computer Systems, Mobile Devices and Digital Storage Devices.
Latent Prints Unit
Latent examiners manually compare fingerprints recovered from crime scenes to those of suspects and victims of crime. Latent fingerprints or palm prints that are determined to be of sufficient quality are entered into Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which searches the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) database for a match.
Forensic Services Laboratory Personnel
DNA Technical Leader
DNA Analyst/LIMS Admin