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Notes From the Field: Caution Is Necessary When Expanding Field Testing Capabilities

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2021
2 pages

This NIJ Notes From the Field details precautions that need to be taken with field testing evidence before it is submitted to a crime laboratory.


This article from the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) "Notes from the Field" series discusses applying caution with field testing evidence before it is submitted to a crime lab. The closer forensic testing gets to the field, and the farther away from the more controlled environment of a lab, the greater the risk that tests may not be performed correctly or the results may be misinterpreted. When forensic testing is removed from the lab and placed in the field, it opens up many possibilities for evidence to be destroyed or contaminated, and for results to be used in ways that exceed their appropriate scope. NIJ's Notes From the Field presents lessons learned by law enforcement executives and other on-the-ground leaders, from years of experience and thinking deeply about law enforcement issues.

Date Published: January 1, 2021