Trace Evidence Section

The Trace Evidence Section is comprised of the Trace Evidence and Questioned Documents Units and is overseen by a Forensic Scientist Supervisor.

Trace Evidence Unit:

The Trace Pattern Sub-Unit performs analyses on evidence that either contains or produces a unique pattern that provides beneficial information to the investigators of the case. These analyses include Fracture Matches; Lamp Examinations; Nature of Damage (including Direction of Force, Fabric Separation and general sustained damage); Cordage, Knots and Ligatures; and Plastic Bag comparisons.

The Trace Chemistry Sub-Unit receives the bulk of the Trace Section evidence and is responsible for the analyses of any evidence submitted to the section that requires chemical or instrumental testing to determine physical and chemical properties. These include analyses in the areas of Fire Debris; Paint; Bank Dye Packs; Fibers; Tapes and Adhesives; Soil Anomalies; and miscellaneous liquids, powders and solids.

The Trace Biology Sub-Unit examines biological evidence in support of the operations of the Biology Section. The main area of analyses is with hair examinations to determine species (animal or human) and growth phase for further DNA profiling. This subunit is developing advanced biological screening protocols in an effort to analyze biological material (both animal and plant) that is not currently possible.

Questioned Documents Unit:

The Questioned Documents Unit performs analyses and comparisons on handwriting as well as on hand printed and machine printed materials. This unit also performs examinations of torn, charred, and obliterated paper; indented writing cases; and comparisons of fractured items.