Home About Us Laboratory Services Forensic Science Communications Back Issues January 2000 Tables, Survey of Forensic Laboratories (Forensic...

Tables, Survey of Forensic Laboratories (Forensic Science Communications, January 2000)

    U.S. Department of Justice
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
 FBI Seal graphic

Horizontal Rule

 

 

 

Graphic link to the Current Issue's table of contents

Graphic link to the Back Issues page with links to each issue

Graphic link to the Search page

Graphic link to the Journal Description page

Graphic link to the Editors page

Graphic link to the Instructions for Authors

Graphic link to the Handbook of Forensic Services

Graphic link to the Links page

Graphic link to the FBI Lab Home Page

Graphic link to FBI Publications page (publications listing)

Sidebar

Forensic Science Communications (masthead graphic)
January 2000   Volume 2   Number 1

Survey of Forensic Science Laboratories
by the Technical Working Group for
Fire and Explosions (TWGFEX)

Tables

Table 1
Education of the Survey Respondents

Educational Discipline

Number  Percent
None listed 72 33.3
Chemistry or subset of chemistry 94 43.5
Biology or subset of biology 13 6.0
Biology/chemistry combination 6 2.8
Forensic science and related 22 10.2
Engineering or physics 3 1.4
Other categories 6 2.8

Back to the article

Table 2
Percentages of Analysts Performing
Specific Investigative Activities
Investigative Activities Performed

Percentages of Analysts

Fire Debris Analysts Explosion Debris Analysts Fire and Explosion
Debris Analysts
Crime scene investigation 18.0 29.4 47.2
Rendering safe NA 5.5 1.6
Incendiary device analysis 23.0 43.1 54.3
Intact explosives analysis NA 46.8 47.6
Residue analysis 62.0 74.3 79.5
Component evaluation 38.0 51.4 54.3
Ignitable residue analysis 95.0 NA 93.8
Crime scene reconstruction 2.0 11.0 12.6
Fire modeling 0.0 NA 1.6
Executing search warrants 0.0 10.1 6.3

Back to the article

Table 3
Percentages of Analysts Performing Specific
Laboratory Procedures
Laboratory
Procedures Performed
Percentage of Fire Debris Analysts Percentage
of Explosion
Debris Analysts
Analysis of intact
low explosives
NA  37.5
Analysis of intact
high explosives
NA 25.5
Analysis of intact improvised explosives NA 27.5
Analysis of post-blast
low explosives
NA 43.0
Analysis of post-blast high-explosives NA 23.0
Analysis of post-blast improvised explosives NA 35.0
Analysis of post-blast device components NA 28.0
Ignitable liquid analysis 85.0 NA
Ignitable liquid
residue analysis
85.5 NA
Intact incendiary
device analysis
34.2 NA
Analysis of post-ignition incendiary devices 40.2 NA

Back to the article

Table 4
Minimum On-the-Job Training
for Fire Debris Analysts
 Minimum Length
of Training
 Number of Analysts
in Favor
Percent of Analysts in Favor
New Fire Debris Analysts
Two to six months  13  11.8
Six months to one year   61  55.5
One to two years  30  27.3
More than two years  6   5.5
Experienced Fire Debris Analysts
One to six months  52   47.3
Six months to one year  47 42.7
One to two years  10   9.1
More than two years   1   0.9

Back to the article

Table 5
Courses of Greatest Interest
to Fire Debris Analysts
Courses Rating (1 - 7 scale)
General Training
Crime scene search 4.24
Instrumental analysis 6.35
Chemical analysis 6.20
Sample clean-up processes 5.51
Continuing Education
Training in electrical circuitry 3.87
Analytical methodology 4.48
Funded federal training 5.26
Training with NCFS 5.59
Collection and preservation of evidence 4.40
Course in fire dynamics and behavior 5.09
Course in petroleum refining 5.09
Computer fire modeling 4.23
Mass spectral interpretation 5.85
Fire scene search 4.82
Internet resources for fire debris analysis 5.20
Regional training by professional associations 5.67

Back to the article

Table 6
Courses Rated by Explosion Debris Analysts
Courses Rating (1 - 7 scale)
General Training  
Laboratory safety procedures 6.74
Rules of evidence 6.26
Understanding the judicial system 4.78
Legal terminology and definitions 5.04
Courtroom procedures 5.52
General crime scene investigation 5.59
Recognition of physical evidence 6.70
Preservation of physical evidence 6.85

Explosives Analysis

History of explosives  4.90
Different types of explosives  6.49
Terminology and vocabulary of explosives  6.27
Manufacturing of explosives  5.50
Composition of low explosive materials  6.64
Composition of high explosive materials  6.51
Construction of commercial
pyrotechnic devices
 5.88
Construction of improvised devices  6.05
Construction of military devices  5.56
Analytical examination
of explosion debris residues
 6.69
Range procedures  4.42
Recovery of improvised
explosive device components 
 6.16

Back to the article

Table 7
Minimum On-the-Job Training

for Explosion Debris Analysts
Minimum Length of Training  Percentage of Analysts
in Favor
New Explosion Debris Analysts
Two to six months  7.4
Six months to one year 37.0
One to two years 40.7
More than two years 14.8
Experienced Explosion Debris Analysts  
One to six months 37.0
Six months to one year  37.0
One to two years  18.5
More than two years   7.4

Back to the article

Table 8
Training Courses and Continuing Education Courses Rated by Explosion Debris Analysts
Courses Rating (1 - 7 scale)
Explosion Debris Analysis Training
Crime scene search 5.37
Instrumental analysis 6.07
Chemical analysis 5.96
Sample cleanup processes 5.37
Explosives workshops 6.04
Pyrotechnic devices 5.63
Explosives microscopy 6.15
Regional workshops on
explosives analysis
6.07
Explosives Analysis Continuing Education
EOD range time 5.23
Training in electrical circuitry 4.92
Seminars by explosives manufacturers 5.73
Analytical methodology 5.65
Refresher courses in IED recognition 5.12
Funded federal training 5.81
Training with NCFS 5.73
Collection and preservation of evidence 5.04
Course in fire dynamics and behavior 4.25
Mass spectral interpretation 5.04
Internet resources for
explosion debris analysis
4.92
Regional training by
professional associations
5.62

Back to the article

Table 9
Tests and Analyses Rated by Frequency of Use
 Procedures  Rating (1 - 7 scale)

Chemical Tests

Microchemical analysis  5.70
PLM  4.51
Stereomicroscopy  6.18
Spot tests  5.80
TLC  3.48
Ignition analysis  4.83
Field explosives screening  1.36

Instrumental Analyses

IR  3.77
SEM-EDX  4.38
SEM-WDX  0.43
ICP  0.49
XRF  1.95
GC/MS  3.56
HPLC  1.35
CE  0.58
IC  1.23
GC/TEA  0.62
HPLC/TEA  0.38
GC/FID  1.07
GC/ECD  0.33
IMS  0.19
NMR  0.04
HPLC/MS  0.42
Raman spectrometry  0.18
ICP  0.30
FTIR  5.10
Other 0.92

Back to the article

Table 10
Interest in and Importance of Activities and Projects
as Rated by Survey Respondents
Activity or Project  Rating (1 - 7 scale)
Extent to which laboratory
encourages continuing education
3.50
Examiner interest in
continuing education via distance learning
5.17
TWG promotion of continuing education 6.10
TWG maintenance of an Internet library 6.13
Importance of national reporting of standards 4.11
Interest in a pyrolysis library 6.18
Importance of a national
database of chromatography data
5.70
Importance of a national
source of ignitable standards
6.10

Back to the article

Back to the top

FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS     JANUARY 2000   VOLUME 2   NUMBER 1

CURRENT ISSUE BACK ISSUES SEARCH
ALL ISSUES
JOURNAL
DESCRIPTION
EDITORS

INSTRUCTIONS
FOR AUTHORS

LINKS

HANDBOOK OF
FORENSIC SERVICES

LAB HOME

FBI
PUBLICATIONS