Foren­sic in­sti­tute to get state-of-the-art equip­ment

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - – JIS

THE STATE-RUN In­sti­tute of Foren­sic Sci­ence and Le­gal Medicine is to re­ceive ad­di­tional state-of-the-art equip­ment val­ued at just over $116 mil­lion (US$900,000) to fur­ther boost its op­er­a­tions by the end of Jan­uary 2017.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Dr Ju­dith Mowatt said the in­sti­tute is be­ing pro­vided with a liq­uid chro­matog­ra­phy-mass spec­trom­e­try (LC-MS) ma­chine, val­ued at ap­prox­i­mately $64.5 mil­lion (US$500,000), and spe­cial bal­lis­tics equip­ment at a cost $51.6 mil­lion (US$400,000).

She was speak­ing with JIS News fol­low­ing the re­cent pre­sen­ta­tion of a $42.3-mil­lion (US$328,000) scan­ning elec­tron mi­cro­scope (SEN) to the In­sti­tute by United States Am­bas­sador to Ja­maica, His Ex­cel­lency Luis Moreno. The LC-MS ma­chine, which is be­ing fa­cil­i­tated by the Euro­pean Union, will serve to fur­ther re­fine the in­sti­tute’s tox­i­col­ogy analyses of post­mortem sam­ples.

STRENGTH­ENED CA­PA­BIL­ITY

Ad­di­tion­ally, she said the bal­lis­tics equip­ment, which is be­ing pro­vided with the as­sis­tance of the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme, will strengthen the in­sti­tute’s ca­pa­bil­ity to con­duct ac­cu­rate analyses on sam­ples re­lated to in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­volv­ing firearms.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor said the LC-MS ma­chine is slated to ar­rive within the next two weeks, while the bal­lis­tics equip­ment is ex­pected by the end of Jan­uary 2017.

Mowatt pointed out that the ac­qui­si­tion of the lat­ter will com­plete the in­sti­tute’s suite of In­te­grated Bal­lis­tics In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (IBIS) equip­ment.

The IBIS fa­cil­i­tates the doc­u­men­ta­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of cor­re­lated bal­lis­tics data de­ter­mine whether a firearm has fig­ured in any case other than the im­me­di­ate mat­ter be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the po­lice.

“We will have the most mod­ern state-of-the-art equip­ment where bal­lis­tics ex­am­i­na­tion is con­cerned,” Mowatt said.

“What we are try­ing to do with the ac­qui­si­tion of more mod­ern and state-of-the-art equip­ment is to au­to­mate a lot of our pro­cesses, so that we can pro­duce the re­sults de­manded by our stake­hold­ers in a more timely, more ef­fi­cient and, cer­tainly, in an ac­cu­rate fashion,” she added.

MOWATT

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