Sheriff's Office: Forensic Laboratory Division (3017P)

Program Outcome Statement

Provide thorough, timely, and quality forensic analysis

Program Services

  • Laboratory Examinations
  • Crime Scene Response (for homicides and other serious cases)
  • Expert Testimony

Overview

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Forensic Laboratory serves all criminal justice agencies by providing specialized investigative and scientific services that result in professional conclusions and expert testimony to support the investigation and adjudication of alleged criminal activity, and to ensure public safety. Additionally, the Laboratory is involved in training criminal justice agencies in the collection and preservation of forensic evidence.
In recent fiscal years, the Laboratory's Forensic Biology and DNA Unit has complied with the expansion of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) to include an additional seven genetic markers, increasing the number of core genetic markers from 13 to 20. On January 1, 2017, all CODIS-participating laboratories were required to have the capability to type the minimum 20 core loci. The Forensic Laboratory successfully implemented the new instrumentation, reagent sets, staff training, and extensive validation process while maintaining caseload production. Additionally, the Forensic Biology Unit is in compliance with AB1517, which requires sexual assault kit DNA profiles that qualify for entry into CODIS be entered within 120 days of their submission to the Laboratory.
Looking forward, the Laboratory's main challenges will be to continue increasing efficiency and decreasing turnaround time in all Laboratory units while maintaining high quality work products.

Total Number of Major Case Items Received


Percent of Customers Rating Forensic Laboratory Services as Good or Better

Number of Positive Associations in AFIS, CODIS, and NIBIN

FY 2017-18 Mid-Year Story Behind Performance

Total Number of Major Case Items Received

In the first half of FY 2017-18, the Laboratory received 1,635 major case items for processing and 167 items and analysis requests generated by field calls. Major cases include anything that is not related to blood-alcohol and narcotics - such as DNA, latent prints, etc. These laboratory requests are generated by our user agencies within the County and other jurisdictions.

Percent of Customers Rating Forensic Laboratory Services as Good or Better

The Forensic Laboratory sends out its customer satisfaction survey in September of each year, and therefore has no data for FY 2017-18 as of yet. However, for the 2017 calendar year, 100% of respondents rated the Crime Lab as "Good or Better".

Number of Positive Associations in AFIS, CODIS, and NIBIN

In the first half of FY 2017-18, the Forensic Laboratory generated 146 hits in the Latent Print (AFIS), DNA (CODIS), and Firearms (NIBIN) databases. This number surpasses the annual goal of 100.
Author: Deniz Tunc, Management Analyst     Contact Email: dtunc@smcgov.org     Date Created: 09-01-2017