Crime Laboratory Units
Latent Print Unit
The Latent Print Unit is comprised of examiners from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Arvada Police Department, and Lakewood Police Department. All examiners are Certified Latent Print Examiners and some also hold various levels of crime scene certification through the International Association for Identification. This unit is responsible for processing evidence for fingerprints, comparing fingerprints developed at crime scenes to known suspects, and searching unidentified fingerprints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).
The Chemistry Unit is responsible for identifying suspected drugs for the presence of controlled substances.
Forensics Biology Unit
The Forensic Biology Unit is divided into two sections: Serology and DNA. In the Serology section, analysts are responsible for examining crime scene evidence for the presence of biological fluids such as blood, semen, and saliva. In the DNA section, analysts are responsible for performing STR DNA analysis on the items examined in the Serology section. DNA profiles obtained from evidence items can be compared to samples from known individuals in an attempt to identify the source of the evidentiary DNA profile. The DNA profiles from evidence items may also be entered and searched in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the national DNA database. The DNA section may also perform male-specific DNA analysis utilizing YSTRs for certain cases.
Forensic Photography / Video Unit
The Photography Unit documents crime scenes through the use of digital imaging, videography, and aerial photography. Digital image processing, custom printing services, and video production and enhancement are also provided to agencies in Jefferson County.
The Firearms Unit began operations on November 11, 2015. This unit is responsible for examining firearms and comparing ammunition recovered from crime scenes to ammunition fired from known firearms. The unit is also responsible for performing serial number restoration on firearms and other items of evidence, and conducting muzzle-to-target distance determinations. In 2016, the unit began performing casework concerning the examination and comparison of tools and tool marks recovered at crime scenes.