President's Message
Dear ASCLD Colleagues,

Over the past several weeks, we have showcased ASCLD members who volunteer to represent us in various external organizations that impact forensic science. We hope that you have learned more about what these dedicated members do for ASCLD, as
well as opportunities for ASCLD members to grow professionally.

As I mentioned previously, we are publishing articles by our members here in the CLM. If you haven’t read it already, make sure you scroll down and read a recent piece onimplementing OSAC Registry standards in a laboratory.

Big news this week!

The ASCLD Symposium scheduled for April 2021 has been rescheduled for the week of August 22, 2021. Many of us have participated in terrific virtual webinars and meetings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the in-person human interaction, they are not quite the same. We hope that in postponing our annual meeting, we will be able to join together, in-person, here in Boston next summer.

ASCLD will offer two Leadership Academies in 2021. The first will be entirely virtual, and the second will end with an in-person capstone session at the Symposium. More details on Leadership Academy will be posted here in the CLM as this develops.

Have a terrific week!

Be well,

Erin

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

Next meeting: November 20th at 1:00pm EST
Weekly News and Resources
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!”
Stop by and visit the ASCLD Forensic Research Committee Validation and Evaluation Repository! Our goal is share information about important Validations and Evaluations with the forensic science community by compiling a list of unique validations and evaluations conducted by forensic labs and universities. The repository will catalog these efforts and provide the contact information of the people responsible for the work. Join ASCLD in this effort to foster information sharing, promote communication, and read about the accomplishments of others worldwide!

The ASCLD Forensic Research Committee is proud to announce the launch of a virtual “Lightning Talks” series to highlight new and emerging research in all areas of forensic science. Each episode will feature three short talks given by practitioners, researchers, and/or students. The first episode will be held on Thursday October 29th at 1:00 EST and will focus on Emerging Approaches for Seized Drug Analysis. It will feature talks by Amber Burns from the Maryland State Police on novel workflows, Colby Ott from West Virginia University on electrochemical detection methods, and Arun Moorthy from NIST on the GC-MS fentanyl classifier. The live event is limited to 100 people. To register, visit https://www.ascld.org/lightning-talks-registration/. Flyer here
Discipline-level Implementation of OSAC Standards
Jeremy Triplett, Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories

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.

As an initial member of the Forensic Science Standards Board, I witnessed first-hand the dedication and enormity of work devoted to the OSAC mission by the more than 550 forensic science practitioners and experts from all levels of government, academia, and industry. I was, and continue to be, so proud of the countless hours of effort that our forensic science practitioners put into the OSAC process.

We knew at the outset of OSAC that it would take a while to get the “plane off the ground” (or the “boat from the harbor,” as OSAC is particularly fond of naval analogies). After all, the standards development process is a tedious and laborious one. As OSAC nears the end of its 6th year of operations, though, we are seeing the fruits of several years of labor by our community. At present, there are 37 standards on the OSAC Registry with hundreds more in the development process. Each one of these standards represents hundreds of hours of work by dedicated professionals in our community.

With the list of OSAC approved standards growing, the community has rightfully turned its attention to the implementation of these standards into the quality systems of forensic laboratories. Admittedly, however, the idea of committing up-front to implementing an ever-evolving list of standards seems daunting, and it’s reasonable to wonder where to even begin. One simple, effective alternative to a wholesale, system-wide overhaul is to implement OSAC standards on a discipline level in a measured, phased-in approach. This is the method the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories has chosen to use, beginning with seized drugs.

The Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories is an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory system and in 2015 the Seized Drugs section committed to implementing all seized drugs related standards approved for the OSAC Registry. To do this, we use a mix of proactive and reactive approaches.

ISO/IEC 17025:2017, 7.2.1.1 states:

7.2.1.1 The laboratory shall use appropriate methods and procedures for all laboratory activities and, where appropriate, for evaluation of the measurement uncertainty as well as statistical techniques for analysis of data.

The KSP Lab’s Seized Drugs section indicates its intent and method for compliance with this clause by stating the following in the KSP Laboratory’s Seized Drugs Quality Manual:

7.2.1.1 The Kentucky State Police Seized Drugs section adheres to standards and guidelines from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) and recommendations by the Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) in formulating its testing methods and procedures. During the annual review of seized drugs documents, OSAC and SWGDRUG standards, guidelines, and recommendations that have been published within the prior year will be evaluated for incorporation into the laboratory’s policies and procedures.

By including this language, the Seized Drugs section has committed to implementing OSAC approved standards while creating a process of measured implementation that gives the section time to evaluate the best method to comply with newly published standards, implement necessary changes in advance, and train analysts on the new requirements. The Technical Leader of the Seized Drugs section is responsible for evaluating OSAC approved standards published within the last year in an annual document review task and incorporating those standards in a new revision of the relevant protocols/procedures. In this way, no approved standard will go any longer than a year before adoption and the section has some preparatory time to ensure implementation is adequate and effective. To date, this has admittedly been a simple task as the number of newly approved standards has not strained our ability to implement them. We believe that having the foundation in place, however, prepares us for rapid implementation as more standards are approved.

The OSAC Quality Task Group has created a “How-to Guide” to help quality managers, senior management and technical leaders with step by step tips for implementing standards in their laboratories and language to add to their methods manuals and quality assurance manuals. The “How-to Guide” for standards implementation is posted on the OSAC website.

The OSAC organization is providing valuable benefits to the forensic science community and is making steady progress toward its goal populating a robust and scientifically sound Registry of approved standards for incorporation into the day-to-day work in forensic science laboratories. As our employees and colleagues devote hundreds of hours to this goal, it’s important to the entire criminal justice system that we find effective ways to implement the results of their efforts. One way to begin implementing OSAC approved standards is with a measured, discipline-level approach. Using this approach, laboratories can make incremental progress toward the goal of whole-lab adoption and section-level employees are empowered to own the process in achieving that goal.


Jeremy Triplett is the Laboratory Manger of the Kentucky State Police Central Forensic Laboratory in Frankfort, is a Past President of ASCLD, and served as Chair of the OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board from 2014-2017. If you have questions about KSP’s OSAC implementation process or would like further information, you may reach him at jeremy.triplett@ky.gov.

Also, please continue to submit your photos to social media with the hashtag #ASCLDfun
Here are some photos of forensic science in action!
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
Community Research, Newsletters, and Surveys
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...
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.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late October.
International Forensic Strategic Alliance (IFSA) ASCLD Representative
As the Chair of the International Committee, I represent ASCLD on the International Forensic Strategic Alliance (IFSA).
ASCLD is one six regional networks from around the globe that comprise IFSA.
This multilateral partnership of networks strives to achieve four main goals:
  • To represent the operational forensic science community
  • To develop and execute a rolling agenda for strategic issues related to forensic science
  • To be a strategic partner to other relevant international organizations and partnerships
  • To encourage the exchange of information related to experience, knowledge and skills between the member networks and other operational forensic experts.
 
Together, these six networks bring together 389 forensic organizations from 85 countries – a powerful partnership!
 
In representing ASCLD, my role includes participating in quarterly meetings and contributing to the shared goals of IFSA.
I am also the conduit for sharing information back to ASCLD members and to seek opportunities through which our membership can contribute to international initiatives.
 
The pandemic has impacted IFSA as it has every other operation, and face-to-face meetings have been put on hold until it is safe to do so again.
Our last in-person meeting which took place a year ago in Scotland, provided the much needed opportunity for IFSA members to get to know each other and to develop the connections that we now rely on as we migrate to videoconferencing as the primary means of doing business.
 
As the network with the largest number of organizations within IFSA, ASCLD plays an important role in that our available resources can make a significant contribution to supporting forensic science initiatives internationally.
There is much that we can learn by observing and listening to what our colleagues around the world are doing, and we can similarly help others by offering our own experiences.
If you have any questions or comments or want to get more involved in ASCLD interests in the international community, please reach out to me.

Tony Tessarolo (Tony.Tessarolo@ontario.ca)
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
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.

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 125, Organizational and Foundational Standard for Medicolegal Death Investigation, First Edition (Comment Deadline, November 2, 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 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
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.
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.

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
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. 
Training
Forensics@NIST 2020 Register Here
2021 ASCLD Symposium Change in Date

Thank you for your continued dedication to ASCLD. We are so appreciative of your support and involvement in this organization and its mission! Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors has decided to move the 2021 ASCLD Symposium to August 22 – 26, 2021. We will still be in Boston, MA at the Westin Copley Place hotel. We hope you can join us!! Additional information will be sent in the coming months regarding registration, and other logistical information. Continue to watch the 2021 ASCLD Symposium website here. for important updates. If you have any questions, please contact our Symposium Chair, Laura Sudkamp, laura.sudkamp@ky.gov.
August 22-26, 2021 | Together Toward Tomorrow | Boston, MA
The ASCLD 2021 Symposium will be held at the Westin Copley in Boston’s historic Back Bay in August 2021.

Are you interested in presenting at ASCLD 2021? Click HERE to submit an abstract. The deadline for submissions is September 30th.
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 webinars bleow. To view these and other archived training opportunities please visit: https://forensiccoe.org/allresources/

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.

December 10, 2020, (11:30am-4:30pm ET) Live Online

November 3-6, 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