President's Message
Update from the Member Resource Committee:

Laboratory management must be able to assess staff productivity in a fair and realistic way as well as assess the capacity of their operations. There are many different approaches to gain this information. The Member Resource Committee has compiled examples of how a few different laboratories handle Discipline-specific Performance Expectations for their examiners. This is a living document that we would love to expand. If you have an alternate approach, please send a summary to Linda Jackson ( linda.jackson@dfs.virginia.gov ) to be included. The document will be found in the Manager’s Toolkit in the member-only section of the ASCLD website.

Update from the Training and Education Committee:

The ASCLD/RTI Train the Director Series is coming once again. The dates, instructors and topics have been set. Mark your calendars!

Quality Assurance: Beyond the Accreditation Program
o   Date: Thursday January 9
o    Erin Forry

Investigative Genetic Genealogy
o   Date: Thursday January 23
o   Ray Wickenheiser

Toxicology – Instrumentation, Methodology and Workflows
o   Date: Thursday February 6th      
o  Bruce Houlihan and Dan Anderson

Controlled Substances and Emerging Drugs
o   Date: Thursday February 27 th
o    Linda Jackson and Sandra E. Rodrigues-Cruz
 
Symposium Update and Reminders:

Do you or do you know someone who would like to run for the Board of Directors? Do you have a nomination for the Briggs White Award? If so, please contact Scott O’Neill ( scott.oneill@nypd.org ) for more information.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have an opportunity to relax, spend time with family and friends, eat a lot of food, and maybe do some shopping on Black Friday. Stay safe and thank you for your support of ASCLD.

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.” – Joyce Giraud

Enjoy the start of the holiday season - Brooke

Forensic Science International - SYNERGY
DNA backlog reduction strategy: Law enforcement agency partnerships for a successful biological screening laboratory
Cecelia A. Crouse, Tara Sessa, Julie Sikorsky, Dustin T. Yeatman, Crystal Conway, Caralee Daugherty, Jeri D. Ropero-Miller
Forensic Science International: Synergy
November 6, 2019

Abstract
In 2009, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) Forensic Biology Unit (FBU) developed an innovative DNA backlog strategy to construct and operate a centralized biological processing laboratory (BPL) within a law enforcement agency (LEA), the Boca Raton Police Services Department. The BPL became fully operational in 2012 and obtained accreditation in 2017. This coordinated, multi-agency agreement resulted in a streamlined process exemplifying several benefits such as communicating timely testing results to LEAs, decreasing the case turnaround time, and decreasing the DNA case backlog. This paper provides a summary of the necessary considerations of location, construction, personnel, and services when constructing a BPL, as well as, provides a comparison of initial completion dates and ultimate completion dates over a three-year period from 2016 to 2018. Three LEAs submitted 613 cases to the BPL commensurate with jurisdictional population. Performance metrics such as types and number of criminal cases screened; the number of samples forwarded for PBSO DNA testing; the turnaround time to handle, screen, or analyze a forensic sample; evidentiary samples; and the number of profiles entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database are reported. For example, prior to this DNA backlog reduction strategy, the FBU was taking an average of 153 days to handle, screen, or analyze a forensic sample from submission to final report and there was a backlog of 679 cases. From 2016 to 2018, the total average TAT for BPL decreased from 30.5 to 19.6 days, (35.8% decrease); and the FBU Request TAT decreased from 153 to 80 days (35% decrease). Monitoring laboratory metrics demonstrate the efficacy of the DNA backlog reduction strategy.

There are several takeaway lessons from this experience, including (1) engaging legal counsel early to outline necessary legal procedures and the timeline; (2) bringing all stakeholders “to the table” early to discuss expectations, as well as legal and operational responsibilities; and (3) creating a realistic timeline as well as establishing a comprehensive MOU by which all parties understand their roles and responsibilities. Understanding laboratory and non-laboratory policy issues is critical to implementation success and the efficacy of a BPL as a DNA backlog reduction strategy.



Looking Ahead
December 20, 2019 Board of Directors Meeting - teleconference
January 31 February 2, 2020 Board of Directors Meeting - Raleigh/Durham, NC
March 29 April 2, 2020 ASCLD Symposium, Denver - CO
ASCLD is pleased to announce that registration for the 2020 symposium has opened. Come explore the website, make your hotel reservations, reserve your spot for the off-site event, sign up for classes, and read about your key note speakers.

Visit the 2020 ASCLD Symposium website at  https://www.ascldsymposium.com
Weekly News and Resources
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is pleased to release the NFLIS-Tox and NFLIS-MEC Brief on Toxicology Testing Practices for Opiates and Opioids Across the Nation .
Community Research and Surveys
OSAC QIC Impact Assessment Task Group Survey

The ASCLD reps on the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) Quality Infrastructure Committee's (QIC) Impact Assessment Task Group are seeking informal feedback from lab directors and quality managers to assess the laboratory impact of the following documents being considered for inclusion on the OSAC Registry of Standards. This survey should take less than 4 minutes to complete. For further information, and to review each proposed standard, click the appropriate link(s) below. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Impact Assessment Task Group Chair, Rita C. Dyas @ Rita.Dyas@chandleraz.gov

Click below for the link to the QIC survey for proposed standard: 


NOTE: The formal public comment period closes on December 5. 2019, per the NIST OSAC website. The associated QIC survey will also close at that time. 

Scientists have demonstrated a way for police to quickly and safely test whether a baggie or other package contains illegal drugs without having to handle any suspicious contents directly. The new technique can limit the risk of accidental exposure to fentanyl and other highly potent drugs that can be dangerous if a small amount is accidentally inhaled.

Continue reading here .
Training
72 nd Annual Scientific Meeting of AAFS
February 17 – 22, 2020
Anaheim, CA

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) will conduct its 72 nd Annual Scientific Meeting February 17-22, 2020, in Anaheim, California.  Each February, the AAFS scientific meeting gathers together approximately 5,000 world-renowned professionals to present the most current information, research, and updates in their fields. More than 900 scientific papers, workshops, and other special sessions are presented. In addition, approximately 150 exhibitors showcase the cutting-edge technology and services of this ever-changing profession. The theme for the 2020 meeting is “Crossing Borders.”  The Advance Program may be viewed here - https://www.aafs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020_AdvanceProgram.pdf
Evidence Management Conference Webcast

The NIST Evidence Management Conference was held from Oct. 2 – 4. The videos talk about area available and are located here: https://www.nist.gov/news-events/events/2019/10/evidence-management-conference
9th Annual Forensic Science Symposium
June 2-4, 2020
Miami, Florida

Join more than 200 forensic science colleagues and aspiring scientists from Florida and beyond at the 9th Annual Forensic Science Symposium at the beautiful Florida International University Modesto A. Maidique Campus in Miami. The symposium will be held June 2-4, 2020.

The 2020 symposium will showcase topics like DNA, chemistry, toxicology, digital forensics and latent prints, and include expanded criminal justice subjects beyond the laboratory. Workshops and a poster session will be included. Registration will be $30 and free for students. Group registration for agencies is also available.

We are looking for innovative topics and dynamic speakers to share their expertise. A call for abstracts will be released soon. 

You can sign up for news on the symposium webpage , follow # FIUForensics for updates, and even visit the event page to set a registration reminder. 

Questions about attending, sponsoring or presenting at the symposium? Email forensic@fiu.edu
For additional information, please visit  https://iafs2020.com.au/
ANAB - Upcoming training events

December 10-13, 2019, Emeryville, CA
February 4-7, 2020, San Antonio, TX
September 15-18, 2020, Washington, D.C.
November 3-6, 2020, Rancho Cordova, CA
 
December 10-13, 2019, Mesa, AZ
March 10-13, 2020, Little Rock, AR
April 21-24, 2020, Rancho Cordova, CA
April 28-May 1, 2020, New York, NY
June 9-12, 2020, Milwaukee, WI

March 16-19, 2020 (2-4pm ET)
June 24-25, 2020 (2-4pm ET)

March 3-5, 2020 (11am-1pm ET)
June 24-26, 2020 (11am-1pm ET)

April 7-9, 2020, Washington, D.C.

March 3-6, 2020, San Antonio, TX
May 5-8, 2020, Washington, D.C.

February 25, 2020, Cary, NC
February 26-27, 2020, Cary, NC 
Digital Forensics Training

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice provides leadership and assistance to local criminal justice programs that improve and reinforce the nations' criminal justice system. Below is some information on digital forensics training opportunities (both classroom or virtual/online) and resources funded by BJA, including the Law Enforcement Cyber Center, and trainings organized by NW3C. NW3C is the training and technical assistance provider under the BJA Economic, High-Technology, White Collar, and Internet Crime Prevention National TTA Program. BJA has also encouraged online course offerings to save time/costs of travel, and included trainings for prosecutors, too. (Note: some NW3C courses sponsored apart from BJA funding may have a cost).  Click the links below for more information:

Forensic Research Committee
The goal of the Laboratories and Educators Alliance Program (LEAP) is to facilitate collaborative research between academia and forensic science laboratories. This joint effort between the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) and the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE) identifies forensic science needs and provides a platform for laboratories, researchers, and students to seek projects aligning with their mutual research capabilities. Read more...
Newly Identified Novels Psychoactive Substances

Recent Additions:
(click drug name for more information)
The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) at the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation, have received funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to develop systems for the early identification and notification of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in the drug supply in the United States. The goal of the program is the early identification of these substances in seized drug and forensic toxicology casework samples through various high resolution mass spectrometry retrospective data-mining and sample-mining techniques. Information about these programs can be found on our website .
Standards Corner


Click HERE to review standards available for comment.

OSAC News
November 2019 OSAC Standards Bulletin now available, click HERE
ASCLD Partnerships
Crime Lab Minute Sponsors
For More Information, Click the LOGO below:
A2LA WorkPlace Training (A2LA WPT) is a nonprofit organization established with a vision of being the leading management systems, conformity assessment, and measurement training company in the world. Our mission is to provide independent, world-class training programs that inspire confidence in the quality of service and acceptance of results from organizations.
 
Be a leader in your industry by building confidence and consistency in your product through A2LA WPT’s broad spectrum of instructor-led and online e-learning training courses. Move ahead of your competition by learning best practices on international standards, quality systems, technical tools, and soft skill s.
Newsletters
Donate to ASCLD
Donations to ASCLD can now be made online! This is a great way to honor the memory of a forensic colleague, to commemorate a life event for that person who has everything, or to otherwise assist in supporting the tireless efforts of the ASCLD organization in the pursuit of excellence in forensic science management. The donation page can be accessed by clicking HERE or by visiting the ASCLD website and clicking on "Donate to ASCLD" under the "Member Site" tab (this donation page is accessible even to non-members). Please consider donating and do share this information with anyone you think might be interested.
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors

65 Glen Road, Suite 123
Garner, NC 27529
Phone: 919.773.2044