The citizens of Palm Beach County have been provided with state-of-the-art Forensic DNA testing capabilities for nearly a decade in the Sheriff's Forensic Biology Unit of the Crime Laboratory. DNA is the genetic fingerprint that is unique to all individuals with the exception of identical twins and found in nearly every cell in the body such as skin cells, blood, semen, hair, and saliva. The laboratory conducts DNA analysis on crime scene evidence and criminal paternity evidence. Over the past decade, nearly a million dollars in Federal grant monies will have been awarded to the PBSO Forensic Biology Unit to enhance the facilities and improve the efficiency of the DNA testing process. The grant monies in combination with continued support from the Sheriff have dramatically increased the technical capabilities of the laboratory by offering state-of-the-art DNA analysis on hundreds of criminal cases a year. The addition of a county software database called "CODIS" (COmbined DNA Index System) containing hundreds of DNA profiles from casework evidence has the ability to search millions of DNA profiles from convicted offenders and crime scene DNA profiles from all fifty states.
PBSO Forensic Biology Unit analysts are required by national standards to have a Bachelors of Science degree with extensive scientific coursework. DNA training takes approximately a year. Completion of the training program allows the analyst to conduct identification of biological stains on evidence, DNA analysis and reporting all findings. The section provides educational services to schools, civic events and law enforcement agencies.
The goal of the PBSO Forensic Biology Unit is to offer the highest quality forensic DNA testing program possible to the victims of criminal activity. This is accomplished through a collaborative effort with law enforcement and the judicial system by conducting analysis on probative evidence and testifying to the DNA results in court. In order to assure compliance with national DNA testing standards, the section maintains accreditation through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board and the FBI National Forensic DNA Standards.
3228 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406-3001