Police acquire $250k machine for forensic data
The Fiji Police Force’s chemistry lab has recently procured a machine that is envisaged to strengthen its forensic chemistry capabilities.
Principal scientific officer (Chemistry) Miliana Werebauinona said the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer was bought through the Fiji Police Force’s 2015 capital projects allocation at a cost of $250,000. “What we are now able to do is take biological samples such as stomach contents, urine and blood samples, conduct certain prep methods before it is injected in to the machine so we can get results,” Ms Werebauinona said. Ms Werebauinona also said the machine would increase the lab’s capacity to assist in criminal investigations. “The GCMS will enable us to develop methods for illicit drugs so we can conduct tests for drugs in post mortem samples as sometimes we get cases where our Pathologists may ask us to detect overdoses,” she said.
“This machine can also effectively detect compounds that may be put in a drink, if we receive a case of drinks being spiked. If the investigating officer can tell us what to look for we can use the reference samples and see if there is a positive match”. Personnel of the chemistry lab had undergone training conducted by Rod Cooper who is a senior service engineer and IT specialist with Australian based Shimadzu Excellence in Science. “The GCMS reinforces what Police do to get a conviction in what criminals do in illegal activity,” he said. He added that frequent training and keeping up with new techniques would be essential for the chemistry lab personnel which in turn will assist the Fiji Police’s Criminal Investigations Department. Source: Fiji Police Media Cell