President's Message
Dear ASCLD Colleagues,

Autumn is my favorite season. Growing up in Massachusetts, I took for granted how beautiful and special Fall is in New England. Brilliant shades of sunset in the trees. Quintessential New England towns. Cool, crisp air. Apple cider donuts. Hiking along trails covered in freshly fallen leaves. Pumpkin everything!
Each Autumn, the ASCLD Board of Directors has an ‘in-person’ meeting that lasts a few days. I have had the opportunity to meet with my Board colleagues in New York, Idaho, and Utah. With the COVID-19 pandemic we had to put our travel plans aside and met together virtually.

We had a very successful meeting and reviewed our Strategic Plan, Administrative Manual, National Outreach Priority Agenda and a lot more. I know you will all be excited with some of the content we are bringing to our membership especially by the Training and Education Committee and Forensic Research Committee. I am continually impressed by the innovation and creativity of our membership.

You may recall a survey that we asked you all to participate in concerning the implementation of OSAC Registry Standards. The Forensic Research and Standards and Accreditation Initiatives Committees worked together to analyze the data from the survey and write a white paper about standards implementation which is linked here. A special thanks to those who made the time to participate in the survey.

Have a terrific week!
Be well,
Erin

Erin P. Forry
ASCLD President
ASCLD monthly board meeting, 3rd Friday of every month

Next meeting: October 16 at 1:00pm EST
Weekly News and Resources
Community Research, Newsletters, and Surveys
ASCLD Forensic Research Committee
The Future Forensics Subcommittee of the ASCLD Forensic Research Committee (FRC) is continuing the publication of brief executive summaries of the recent literature within the forensic sciences.

The initial source of the executive summaries is the proceedings of the triannual 19th INTERPOL International Forensic Science Manager’s Symposium literature reviews, originally published by INTERPOL.

These summaries were written by ASCLD members and are meant to provide a brief overview of the most noteworthy publications and trends in the literature within the last 3 years (2016-2019).

The list of seven (7) executive research summaries include reviews in the areas of fingerprints, controlled substances, paint and glass evidence, forensic toxicology, forensic biology, gunshot residue analysis, and firearms and toolmarks. The summaries and additional information about other FRC activities can be found HERE.

FRC Bulletin September 2020

Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG)
The NIJ Forensic Laboratory Needs – Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) met virtually during the afternoons of July 27 and 28, 2020. 

The FLN-TWG is made up of laboratory directors and research scientists, many of whom are members of ASCLD, who are tasked with providing knowledge and expertise to ensure that NIJ research and implementation of forensic technology is relevant and responsive to laboratory operations needs of the forensic science community.

One focus of the meeting was firearms examiners’ testimony and reporting issues that have been gaining traction in court for the last twelve months. Some of the court decisions where examiner testimony was limited include: United States v. Shipp (2019), United States v. Johnson (2019), United States v. Tibbs (2019), United States v. Davis (2019), United States v. Hunt (2020), Williams v. United States (DC Court of Appeals), People v. A.M.(Bronx, NY 2020), and United States v. Odell Tony Adams (2020). Although most of these decisions have been in Federal court, all laboratory directors and firearms examiners should be aware of them and their potential implications to crime labs.

The FLN-TWG also discussed the NIJ research strategy for the coming years, specifically in light of the reduced budget that NIJ has for forensic science research.
At previous meetings, the FLN-TWG drafted white papers on implementation considerations of up and coming technologies including Next Generation Sequencing for DNA Analysis, Proteomic Mass Spectrometry for Bodily Fluid Identification, 3D Optical Topography Technologies for Firearms Examinations, Liquid Chromatography-Time of Flight (LC-TOF) for Toxicological Analysis, and Incorporation of Digital Evidence into Project FORESIGHT. Currently, these white papers are in the editorial process at RTI.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late October.


The court decisions listed above will be posted on the Member Site for your reference and information.
OSAC ASCLD Reps
ASCLD serves as the administrator for the United States Technical Advisory Group (US TAG) to the Technical Committee (TC) at ISO that has been established to develop standards related to forensic science. As the administrator, ASCLD serves as the Secretariat and manages the US TAG. The US TAG for forensic science was developed by former Chair of the US TAG Kermit Channell and former Secretariat Soraya McClung. Past-President Jody Wolf has served as the US TAG Secretariat since 2018.
The US TAG meets regularly to reach consensus on comments from the working drafts and to represent US interests. The primary purpose of a US TAG is to develop and transmit, via ANSI, the United States’ ‘seat’ at ISO, US positions on activities and ballots of the related international technical committee. The US TAG member entities include the following organizations:
 
·      ANAB: ANSI -ASQ (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board)
·      American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) Academy Standards Board (ASB)
·      American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD)
·      Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers (AFQAM)
·      Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA)
·      Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency (DFBA)
·      International Association of Identification (IAI)
·      National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
·      United States Department of Justice (DOJ)

ASCLD President Erin Forry has served as Chair of the US TAG since 2018.
To date, 26 nations participate and 18 observe in the development of global forensic science standards. Each nation that participates in the in-person TC meetings represents the interests of their country’s mirror committee. One of the most rewarding aspects of participating in TC 272 is collaborating with forensic scientists from other nations as well as traveling to other nations, as each participating country takes turn hosting the TC meeting. It is interesting to learn about similarities and differences in forensic science around the globe and it assists the TC in forming consensus and creating documents that may be used globally.
ABC Certification Scheme Restructuring
The American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) has been a pillar in the forensic field for certifying criminalists since the 1990’s. As the ABC and forensic disciplines have evolved, the Board of Directors (BOD) has actively pursued strategic changes. Recently a restructuring of the certification scheme for ABC participants has been pursued upon a thoughtful survey and dialogue of the BOD. Please see this official announcement of the restructure which will go into effect on January 1st, 2021. This announcement not only includes the history of this change but also includes some thoughtful questions you may be asking as leaders within your forensic organization.

If you have any questions or comments regarding restructuring of ABC certification schemes, please contact the ABC Board of Directors HERE.
The Cannabis Quality Assurance Program 
The Cannabis Quality Assurance Program (CannaQAP), part of our larger Cannabis program, will help forensic laboratories demonstrate and improve the comparability and/or competence of the quantitative measurements required under the 2018 Farm Bill.
 
For additional information regarding CannaQAP and to sign up to receive notification of new exercises, please
visit https://qa.nist.gov/cannaqap/index.php

AAFS Standards Board
Two New Forensic Standards from the ASB
The AAFS Standards Board (ASB) is pleased to announce the publication of two new American National Standards:
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 035, Standard for the Examination of Documents for Alterations, First Edition, 2020 (This document establishes the minimum required procedure(s) used by Forensic Document Examiners (FDE) in the examination of documents for alterations)
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 077, Standard for the Developmental and Internal Validation of Forensic Serological Methods, First Edition 2020 (This standard provides requirements for developmental and internal validations of forensic serological methods to evaluate body fluids, stains, or residues related to forensic investigations)

ASB documents are available for download in the Published Documents portion of the ASB website.

ASB Documents Open for Public Comment
The ASB encourages all interested parties to provide comments on documents in progress. The following documents are available for Public Comment:
  • Recirculation* – ASB Best Practice Recommendation 050, Best Practice Recommendation for Photographic Documentation of Footwear and Tire Impression Evidence, First Edition (Comment Deadline, November 2, 2020)
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 054, Standard for a Quality Control Program in Forensic Toxicology Laboratories, First Edition (Comment Deadline, October 5, 2020)
  • ASB Standard 076, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Human Remains: Human Remains on Land, First Edition (Commend Deadline, October 26, 2020)
  •  Recirculation* – ASB Standard 125, Organizational and Foundational Standard for Medicolegal Death Investigation, First Edition (Comment Deadline, November 2, 2020)
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 130, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Amplification Methods for Subsequent Capillary Electrophoresis Sequencing, First Edition (Comment Deadline, October 26, 2020)
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 131, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Sequencing using Capillary Electrophoresis, First Edition (Comment Deadline, October 26, 2020)
  • ASB Standard 136, Forensic Laboratory Standards for Prevention, Monitoring, and Mitigation of DNA Contamination, First Edition (Comment Deadline, September 28, 2020)
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 137, Standard for Examination and Documentation of Footwear and Tire Impression Evidence, First Edition (Comment Deadline, November 2, 2020)
  • ASB Standard 140, Standard for Training in Forensic Human Mitochondrial DNA Analysis, Interpretation, Statistical Evaluation, and Reporting, First Edition (ASB Comment Deadline, November 2, 2020)

*Please note that comments on a re-circulation will only be accepted on revised sections of a document, comments made to text not revised from the original public comment period will not be accepted.

The documents, comment template, and additional information can be accessed through the Notification of Standard Development and Coordination portion of the ASB website.
73rd AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting Goes Virtual!

The 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) will be held virtually from February 15-19, 2021. Abstracts were due by October 8, 2020. Notification of Acceptance will be mailed to all presenting authors by November 27, 2020. Meeting registration materials will be subsequently sent to presenting authors.

#forensicscienceweek on Social Media
We hope you followed along this week on both the Academy and the ASB social media platforms! Please take a moment to visit our pages and become one of our new Followers. In addition to the Academy Facebook® page, we have launched a Twitter® feed and both Academy and ASB LinkedIn® pages.
Contribute To the ASB
Your contribution will help ensure the ASB's success in establishing standards and best practices for the forensic science community. Your contribution may be tax deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense for federal income tax purposes. Make a donation.
ASB updates from ANSI Standards Action
To view a summary of items of interest to ASB members in ANSI Standards Action, visit the ANSI Standards Action Weekly Report folder on the ASB Workspace page. Please contact asb@aafs.org if you have difficulties logging on to the Workspace site.
Forensic Research Committee Bulletin - July 2020
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...
Funding Opportunities
Will your laboratory be among the 2021 FORESIGHT Maximus award winners?
Some have already submitted their data, but there is still time for others to submit. We thank those who have already submitted and encourage all to participate.
Note that we are hosting two workshops at the 2021 ASCLD Symposium. One workshop is designed for new participants to assist in data reporting. The second workshop is designed for laboratory leadership to get the most out of their annual reports. Please join us at the ASCLD Symposium.
Attached you will find the data collection form for participation in Project FORESIGHT. As a response to several laboratories regarding the minimum data necessary to participate, we created a data collection tool LabRAT Levels.
The LabRAT Levels data collection sheet separates the minimum data necessary from the maximum data possible. We have added some additional detail to Level II casework with respect to some databases, SAKs, and Digital Evidence. Complete the following:
"Open Me First" worksheet
“Casework Level I”, which asks for Cases submitted for each investigative area and full time equivalent employees in each area
 "Expenditures Level I" worksheet, which asks for personnel expenditures (salaries, wages, benefits, temporary employees and overtime) for each area of investigation and laboratory total expenditures for capital, consumables, and the lump sum of other expenditures.
With this data we can provide you with a full report. The “Summary Measures” worksheet will give you immediate feedback with this minimum data reporting. You Tube videos demonstrating the use of the LabRAT tool are available on the project website.
All of your Level I Casework and Expenditures data are immediately transferred to the Level II worksheets. Any additional detail on casework (e.g., TAT, backlogs, items, samples, tests, and reports) or expenditures will enhance the precision of your report. Partial reporting under the Level II worksheets is fine. Do not worry about having all possible blocks filled.
Please try to submit your data by January 15, 2021 to: foresightsubmissions@gmail.com or paul.speaker@mail.wvu.edu. If you are unable to meet that target date, please submit when you are able. All submissions that are receive at least one month prior to the 2021 ASCLD Symposium will be evaluated for Maximus award consideration.
Note that annual reports for prior years are available via https://business.wvu.edu/research-outreach/forensic-business-studies/foresight.
Finally, if you haven’t tested it yet, check out the beta version of the workforce calculator hosted by RTI International and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (https://forensiccoe.org/workforce-calculator-project/). The updated workforce calculator will be posted in the near future. We’ll send an updated notice when it is ready for trial.
Paul J Speaker
Professor
Department of Finance – 220 B&E
John Chambers College of Business and Economics
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506-6025
(304) 293-7810 (office)
For the most up to date Funding Opportunities visit: https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/current

Standards Corner
The AAFS has established an organization dedicated to developing documentary standards for forensics, the Academy Standards Board (ASB).

To date in the United States, forensic standards development has culminated in the currently on-going National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) effort, which began in 2014. NIST has ensured the significant involvement of the forensic science community in this process.

Help to shape the development of these standards by offering your comments during the public commenting period. Keep up with the standards available for public comment at ASB HERE.

"Since its official inception in 2014, the NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science has advanced the mission of strengthening forensic practice by facilitating the development of technically sound, science-based standards through a formal standard developing organization (SDO) process, by evaluating existing standards published by SDOs for placement onto the OSAC Registry, and by promoting the use of the OSAC Registry approved standards throughout the forensic science community."
- Former ASCLD President Jeremy Triplett

Read his article describing the discipline-level implementation of OSAC standards here
OSAC News
As noted, last week, OSAC transitioned to OSAC 2.0. We will be sure to have any information that OSAC shares with us in the coming weeks.

See Senate Bill 4568 HERE.

See the letter of Support HERE
Summer 2020 OSAC Standards Bulletin now available, click HERE

The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science monthly Standards Bulletin is now available. Read about the latest DNA standard to be added to the OSAC Registry and the nine other standards currently open for Registry comment. Also learn about the recently published toxicology and footwear and tire standards, the eight standards open for comment at standards developing organizations, and the new documents being initiated. 
ASCLD News
ASCLD members: We need you!
To make a video in the comfort of your own space (whether that be home/office/outside…be creative) telling us why you like being a member of ASCLD!

Being a part of ASCLD helps our leadership across the world build connections with its memberships and allows members to gain more knowledge in this field by learning from others.

So what are we looking for? A video of you can include:
 
  1. Introduce yourself (your name, title, organization, years in the field)
  2. What got you in the field?
  3. What made you decide to join ASCLD?
  4. What benefits have you gained as a member of ASCLD?
  5. Is there anything you would want a prospective ASCLD member to know?

The video should be around 3 min to 3.5 min in length.
We are asking for videos so we can stay connected with our community during these unprecedented times. Additionally, it was pointed out to us that often times it can be intimidating to take that “leap” into engaging in such a large organization with such great leadership in our field. Let’s show those leaders out there in crime laboratories that we are a welcoming group seeking a diverse membership. Please consider helping us!”
Also, please continue to submit your photos to social media with the hashtag #ASCLDfun
Here are a few photos from Forensic Science Week.
If you have a small article you would like to submit or share, please submit them here: https://www.ascld.org/clm-submission/
Is your laboratory doing something exciting like building a new lab, incorporating new standards or tackling and overcoming operational challenges during COVID? Are you interested in submitting an article for publication in the CLM? Please submit articles electronically to https://www.ascld.org/clm-submission/ 
Did you know ASCLD has a preferred journal via FSI Synergy? ASCLD has signed Journal Affiliation Agreements with Elsevier B.V. Publishing. This agreement gives ASCLD members some advantages for submitting articles. Elsevier B.V. has agreed to an open access fee of $550 (plus applicable taxes) for ASCLD members to publish, with preferential treatment to ASCLD members in terms of waivers. In return, ASCLD allows Elsevier B.V. Publishing to use the ASCLD logo and trademarks and a membership roster once a year. 
ASCLD Partnerships
Training
Forensics@NIST 2020 Register Here
April 11 - 15, 2021 | Together Toward Tomorrow | Boston, MA
The ASCLD 2021 Symposium will be held at the Westin Copley in Boston’s historic Back Bay in April 2021.

Are you interested in presenting at ASCLD 2021? Click HERE to submit an abstract. The deadline for submissions is September 30th.
Southwestern Association of
Forensic Scientists
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Conference will be held completely online!
October 5th, 6th, and 8th, 2020
No registration fee will be charged this year!
Please use the main menu to register and view the schedule. All events will be broadcast over the RTI system, not the SWAFS website.
Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Conference
October 14-17, 2020

Click HERE for link
 Webinar Series
New and emerging standards and best practices in forensic biology and DNA testing

July 15, 2020 (On Demand)
Part 1: Development and Publication of New Standards and Best Practices – The Process
August 5, 2020 (On Demand)
Part 2: Mixture Interpretation Validation and Protocol Development and Verification
September 9, 2020
Part 3: Training Standards Overview

ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Webinar Series (Archived)

Providing training and education to our membership is a core mission for ASCLD. Despite the unfortunate cancellation of our annual symposium this year, the Symposium Planning and Training and Education Committees found a way to bring timely and relevant content that would have been experienced in Denver, to the ASCLD membership.
Through a generous partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence at RTI International, ASCLD presented a three-part webinar series entitled ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness. Providing training and education in employee wellness is part of the current ASCLD Strategic Plan. In an already stressful profession, as we adapt and lead through the COVID-19 pandemic, this topic is particularly timely.

In June 2020, ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness presented the following webinars:

Speakers: Andrew Levin, Jonathan McGrath, Heidi Putney, & Danielle Crimmins

Speaker: Jody Wolf

Speaker: Robert Kirkby
BODE Virtual Forensic DNA Conference

New Dates: Nov . 3-6, 2020

Click HERE for link
ANAB - Upcoming training events
New! ANAB is offering live instructor lead online courses to meet the need for continued learning in light of widespread travel restrictions and the need for social distancing. Each class is offered via WebEx and includes the opportunity for participants to submit questions, as well as interact with the instructor and other participants.

October 20, 2020, (11:30am-4:30pm ET) Live Online

November 3-6, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
 
October 6-9, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
November 16-19, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
December 14-17, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
 
December 1-4, 2020 (11am-1pm ET), Live Online

November 2-3, 2020, (11:00am-3:00pm ET) Live Online
 
November 30-December 2, 2020 (2pm-4pm ET), Live Online

Self-paced Training (Web-based)

Self-paced Training (Web-based)
Crime Lab Minute Sponsors
For More Information, Click the LOGO below:
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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 skills.
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