The Chemistry Section is responsible for performing Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) analysis on submitted evidence and Toxicology analysis of blood. The Chemistry Section consists of the following four Units: the CDS-Pikesville Unit, CDS-Berlin Unit, CDS-Hagerstown Unit, and Toxicology Unit. The CDS Units focus on identifying submitted evidence as being a specific type of drug while the Toxicology Unit focuses on identifying alcohol and drugs in blood taken from individuals suspected of being intoxicated/impaired. The Chemistry Section Manager oversees the work of all four units.
CDS Pikesville Unit
The CDS-Pikesville Unit consists of one Forensic Scientist Supervisor, one Forensic Scientist Advanced, and five Forensic Scientists III. In addition, two Allied Agency Chemists work in the CDS-Pikesville laboratory. One Allied Agency Chemist is employed by the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office and the other Allied Agency Chemist is employed by the Howard County Police Department.
The CDS-Pikesville Unit is responsible for the analysis of illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals and provides expert testimony as to the findings. The Pikesville Lab services the central Maryland counties.
CDS Berlin Unit
The CDS-Berlin Unit consists of one Forensic Scientist Supervisor, three Forensic Scientists III, and one Inventory Control Specialist. The CDS-Berlin Unit operates out of the Berlin Regional Laboratory located at the MSP-Berlin Barrack.
The Berlin lab services counties from the Maryland Eastern Shore. The summertime is an extremely busy time for the Berlin lab as people flock to Ocean City.
CDS Hagerstown Unit
The CDS-Hagerstown Unit consists of one Forensic Scientist Supervisor, three Forensic Scientists III, and one contractual Inventory Control Specialist. The CDS-Hagerstown Unit operates out of the Hagerstown Regional Laboratory located at the MSP-Hagerstown Barrack.
The Hagerstown lab services the western counties of the state.
The Toxicology Unit consists of one Supervisor and two Forensic Scientists III. The Toxicology Unit operates out of the main laboratory in Pikesville.
The Toxicology Unit is responsible for the analysis of alcohol and drugs contained in blood specimens submitted to the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. Testing is performed in conjunction with the Driving While Impaired (DWI) program of the Maryland State Police and the State Toxicologist’s Office. Testing for alcohol and drugs is performed for both the Maryland State Police and allied state law enforcement agencies requiring laboratory support for impaired driving programs. These important services assist police and prosecutors in obtaining the forensic evidence needed to prosecute impaired drivers in court.
The Toxicology Unit is the only laboratory within the state approved by the State of Maryland, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to analyze blood samples for alcohol and drugs in cases related to DWI arrests. Specimens submitted for testing are collected by certified medical personnel at the direction of authorized police personnel. Blood is collected when a person is injured or hospitalized, a fatality has occurred, or when alcohol is suspected and a breath test operator is not available. Many cases, therefore, involve serious personal injury and manslaughter charges that require the Forensic Scientist’s expert testimony at trial.