Students Hear From the State Patrol Crime Lab

As part of the FORS 200 - Forensic Seminar guest lecture series, Jeff Bracht, a Forensic Scientist/DNA Analyst, talked about the work that goes on in the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab. 

Serving any law enforcement agency in the state of Nebraska, the State Patrol Crime Lab is accredited and has with about 22 employees including managers and analysts.  There are several disciplines represented at the lab including: serology (identifying biological material), DNA, toxicology, trace evidence, controlled substances, latent prints, and firearms/tool marks.

With a new space, the crime lab has tripled the size of their facility, required for storing their extensive analysis instrumentation and firearms facility.  According to Bracht, analyses are not done quickly, and can take up to several months or even years.  A typical day for an analyst can include casework, testimonies, review, research, continuing education, presentations/workshops, and lab and instrument maintenance.  He recommends that those interested in becoming a forensic scientist need: an education, internship experience, lab experience, knowledge of a subject matter, visual acuity, and pattern recognition skills.