The Technical Support Unit administers two statewide programs supporting law enforcement in the field - the statewide breath alcohol program and the statewide Rapid DNA Law Enforcement Program. This unit is based out of the Central Regional Crime Laboratory.
Breath alcohol analysis measures the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in an individual breath sample. This analysis utilizes a technique called infrared spectrophotometry that measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath based on the absorbance of infrared light by the breath sample in the instrument. This analysis is performed by trained law enforcement officers in the field on one of approximately 350 instruments statewide.
The Scientific Analysis Bureau provides breath alcohol instrument training and support at the Central Regional Crime Laboratory, with assistance from the other three regional labs.
Rapid DNA is technology that allows for the multiple steps of DNA analysis to be consolidated in a single instrument and performed very quickly (within 2 hours). The Department of Public Safety was the first state agency to bring Rapid DNA analysis online as a law enforcement program where officers and crime scene technicians are trained in the use of the Rapid instrumentation. These Rapid operators can then run select types of crime scene samples outside of the laboratory in order to develop investigative leads more quickly than possible through normal crime laboratory analysis.
The Scientific Analysis Bureau provides training and support for this statewide Rapid DNA program through the Central laboratory. Currently, there are Rapid instrument sites at the Central and Southern labs and Rapid DNA Law Enforcement Partner Sites at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Yuma County Sheriff's Office, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, Pinal County Sheriff's Office, and Cochise County Sheriff's Office. with expansion plans in 2023 to locate additional Rapid instrument sites at the Northern and Western labs.
Media Links - Arizona Rapid DNA Law Enforcment Program
- Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Press Release
- Yuma County Sheriff's Office Press Release
- KAWC radio report on Yuma County Rapid program launch
- KYMA Channel 11 new report on Yuma County Rapid program launch
- Report on AZDPS as first NDIS lab to upload samples to CODIS using Rapid DNA
- Article from Tucson.com on use of Rapid DNA program by Tucson Police Department
- Article from Tucson.com on arrest of Foothills burglar
- KTAR news story on launch of Arizona Rapid DNA Law Enforcement Program
- AZCentral article on first sexual assault case using Rapid in Arizona