Home News Stories 2004 February The Forensic Science Training Center

The Forensic Science Training Center

Strengthening the Global Rule of Law, Part 2
An International Forensic Training Center is Dedicated in Hungary


thededication.gifThis week, we've brought you stories on the FBI Lab and its use of DNA technology, as well as on the birth of the first International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest.

Today, a story that ties these themes together.

Last week, after nearly two years of collaboration between the FBI Lab and ILEA Budapest, leaders from Hungary and the U.S. came together to launch a groundbreaking addition to the Academy: the Forensic Science Training Center.

What is this Training Center? A series of four labs, stocked with modern technologies and equipment, to teach police across Europe and Asia the latest forensic capabilities and techniques that they can take back to their countries. It's the first international forensic training lab of its kind in the world.

Why is it needed? For a lot of reasons:

  • To focus on techniques effective in analyzing evidence of international crimes and acts of terrorism;
  • To put the universe of crime-fighting forensic capabilities in the hands of lab technicians in countries that have only small or developing crime labs; and
  • To standardize the quality of forensic evidence internationally.

What kind of techniques will be shared? Here's a sampling:

  • Revealing fingerprints that are invisible to the naked eye with the latest innovations, from super glue vapors to fluorescent powders;
  • Using electrostatic detection equipment to uncover written impressions or indentations left behind on pieces of paper after the criminal or terrorist has taken away the original note;
  • Identifying residues from bombs, fires, etc. with powerful new techniques (infrared microspectroscopy and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry!); and
  • Conducting nuclear and mitochondrial DNA tests to identify victims and missing persons and link crime scenes together.

The FBI's contribution? We donated and set up more than $1 million worth of equipment, following our move to a new Lab. And, down the road, we hope to send our forensic experts to teach at the Center.

The FBI's Executive Assistant Director for Law Enforcement Services, Charles Prouty, spoke at the dedication. He called the Center a "fine example of what cooperation between our countries' law enforcement agencies can accomplish" and described it as "the physical embodiment of our commitment to the rule of law."

Our thanks and congratulations to all those who made it happen.