Techs Fail Trace Evidence Test at Philly Crime Lab

May 21st, 2012 by admin

Twice a year trace evidence technicians are tested, six at a time, to ensure they are well-equipped to keep handling their crucial job. In the latest round of testing, three technicians failed. Though the department hasn’t released additional details, they are assuring the public and the media that the issue is being addressed.

According to the Daily News, each of these trace evidence technicians tests “hundreds of pieces of evidence a year for traces of blood and semen,” in an array of criminal cases. Depending on the details of their failures, the results could lead to major appeals and overwhelming questions on the integrity of evidence in pending cases.

The tests are administered by an outside agency and are put in place to assure the Philadelphia Police Department’s crime lab retains its accreditation. The outside agency has yet to inform city officials which three of the six tested failed. In the meantime, all six in the group have been removed from their duties.

Once the three are clearly identified, the department intends on retraining them. They also vow to reexamine the cases that were handled by these three technicians.

No trace evidence technicians have failed the tests, “since at least 2004.” Between the 12 techs, around 3,000 cases are handled each year.

The police department released the information about the failed tests just 24 hours after they had received it themselves. In an effort to be proactive, they immediately informed the public and announced the steps that would be taken to rectify any problems that would arise due to the failures.

Blood and semen evidence is largely found in serious violent crime cases. From assaults, to rapes and murders, when you are dealing with bodily fluids, there’s a good chance that the crime is a violent and serious offense. This makes the integrity of the evidence that much more important.

When you are charged with a crime, the integrity of the evidence against you is crucial. If any mistakes are made in the collection, testing, or even storage of the evidence, it could be grounds for dismissal of the charges. The city of Philadelphia knows this and this is likely part of the reason they are handling the news of the failures so aggressively.

Whether you are charged with a drug offense and the cops seized the drugs illegally, or if you are accused of a violent assault, we can help. Contact out offices today to discuss the details of your case and what can be done to minimize the effect of these charges on your life.