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Crime Labs Advance with Photonics

Photonics Spectra
Nov 1999
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in Harrisburg has awarded $1.8 million in federal block grants to Allegheny County and state crime labs for the purchase of high-tech equipment. Gov. Tom Ridge, who also earmarked nearly $1.7 million in state funds for high-tech equipment in his 1998-99 budget, said that the successful prosecution of criminal cases today requires the evidence that advanced forensic instruments provide.

The Allegheny County crime lab will purchase equipment to improve its ability to identify fingerprints and DNA and to quantify blood alcohol content. The facility also will purchase digital cameras for use in courtroom presentations. The Pennsylvania State Police labs will update their equipment with spectrometers for drug analysis, microscopes for hair and fiber analysis, a digital photo factory and an oximeter for determining carbon monoxide levels in blood.

The governor's budget for 1999-2000 includes the creation of 24 positions at the crime labs, which include forensic scientists, evidence technicians and chemists.


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