The Ventura County Sheriff’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) is a full-service laboratory responding to all law enforcement agencies in Ventura County. The 31 full-time forensic scientists and 8 support staff of the FSL analyze approximately 8,000 cases per year in the following disciplines:
• DNA – The identification of DNA in various body fluids associated with crimes such as sexual assault and homicides. Relevant DNA profiles are also entered into a national DNA database.
• Trace – Microscopic analysis of residues, such as glass particles and fibers, that are often associated with a crime scene; analysis of fire debris for flammable liquids; shoe print and tire track identification.
• Firearms — The identification and matching of bullets and casings to firearms; operability of firearms; bullet profiles of interest are entered into a national database designed to aid in linking otherwise unsuspected crimes.
• Controlled Substances – The identification of drugs of abuse (“street drugs”) and controlled pharmaceuticals in concentrated form.
• Toxicology – The identification of drugs of abuse and behavior-altering substances in body fluids. The Toxicology section also supports the Medical Examiner in determining the cause of death.
• Forensic Alcohol – Maintenance and calibration of breath-alcohol instruments throughout the County, and training of law enforcement personnel in breath alcohol analysis; determination of blood alcohol concentrations.
• Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) – Field Evidence Technicians (FET) are responsible for the detailed documentation of crime scenes and the collection/preservation of evidence. FET’s also process items of evidence for latent prints in the lab using a variety of specialized techniques and equipment.
• Fingerprints – The analysis of latent print impression recovered from crime scenes and/or developed from items of evidence. Latent prints may also be searched and/or registered in the fingerprint databases and subsequently compared.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Sciences Laboratory is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The FSL also complies with quality standards issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and meets the FBI’s DNA Advisory Board (DAB) standards for forensic DNA testing laboratories.