The Scientific Analysis Bureau at the department provides forensic services to all police agencies within the State of Arizona. The services provided by the bureau include the scientific analysis of evidence, technical crime scene assistance, secure storage of evidentiary items, training, and expert testimony.
The scientific and technical services offered by the bureau are provided through the department’s crime laboratories in the areas of alcohol and drug toxicology, controlled substances, latent prints, firearms and toolmarks, trace evidence, questioned documents, and DNA.
The bureau provides its services from four separate regional laboratories. These laboratories are the Central Regional Crime Lab located in Phoenix, the Northern Regional Crime Lab located in Flagstaff, the Southern Regional Crime Lab located in Tucson, and the Western Regional Crime Lab located in Lake Havasu City.
Each laboratory has specialty teams or sections that focus on specific areas and disciplines.
These areas include:
- Alcohol – provides blood alcohol analysis and breath alcohol instrument training and support.
- Latent Prints - provides processing of latent print evidence, comparisons of developed latent prints to known prints, and entry of developed latent prints into AZAFIS.
- Firearms/Toolmarks - provides firearm, bullet, cartridge case, and toolmark examination, serial number restoration, shooting reconstruction and distance determination.
- Trace Evidence - provides analysis in the areas of bulk explosives and ignitable liquids.
- DNA Casework – provides the most modern DNA scientific services for the examination of crime evidence to identify or exonerate suspects.
- DNA Database - serves as the State Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Database for Arizona and uploads convicted offender and arrestee samples into CODIS.
- Controlled Substances - provides analysis of unknown substances to determine the amount and identity of the substance.
- Toxicology - provides analysis of blood and urine in order to determine amounts and identities of various drugs and toxins, including both illegal and prescription drugs. The unit also provides support to the statewide DRE program.
- Questioned Documents - provides examinations of counterfeit money and documents as well as handwriting analysis and comparisons to determine authorship of questioned writing samples.
- Crime Scene Response Team - provides trained crime lab personnel at crime scenes to provide photography, collection of evidence, scene analysis, and scene processing.
- Photo Lab - provides photographic support at crime scenes and major DPS events and functions.
- Property and Evidence - provides intake and output of evidence to agencies supported by the SAB, stores evidence, provides evidence to criminalists for analysis, provides for evidence disposal, and handles personal property
- Outreach - provides outreach to the community in the form of career fairs, tours, guest lectures, training and presentations.