Forensic Sciences Laboratory

 

Forensic Sciences

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) is a full-service laboratory responding to all law enforcement agencies in Ventura County. The 31 full-time forensic scientists and 8 support staff of the FSL analyze approximately 8,000 cases per year in the following disciplines:

  • DNA – The identification of DNA in various body fluids associated with crimes such as sexual assault and homicides. Relevant DNA profiles are also entered into a national DNA database.
  • Trace – Microscopic analysis of residues, such as glass particles and fibers, that are often associated with a crime scene; analysis of fire debris for flammable liquids; shoe print and tire track identification.
  • Firearms -- The identification and matching of bullets and casings to firearms; operability of firearms; bullet profiles of interest are entered into a national database designed to aid in linking otherwise unsuspected crimes.
  • Controlled Substances – The identification of drugs of abuse (“street drugs”) and controlled pharmaceuticals in concentrated form.
  • Toxicology – The identification of drugs of abuse and behavior-altering substances in body fluids. The Toxicology section also supports the Medical Examiner in determining the cause of death.
  • Forensic Alcohol – Maintenance and calibration of breath-alcohol instruments throughout the County, and training of law enforcement personnel in breath alcohol analysis; determination of blood alcohol concentrations.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Forensic Sciences Laboratory is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The FSL also complies with quality standards issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and meets the FBI’s DNA Advisory Board (DAB) standards for forensic DNA testing laboratories.