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New analysis machine for Forensics

Posted: Friday, December 18th, 2015. 11:54 a.m. CST

GCMS-bigBy BMG Staff: At the headquarters of the National Forensic Science Service in Ladyville on Thursday afternoon, Ambassador Carlos Moreno handed over a machine known as the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer, GCMS for short, which is the latest model and a big boost to the substance analysis capability of the forensic laboratory.

Director of the NFSS and former Commissioner of Police, David Henderson Senior, stated that the new machine is “the gold standard” in forensics, able to accurately detect and analyze many substances.

But even with the new addition, which costs about 350 thousand Belize dollars, Belizeans still have questions about the efforts of the Forensic Service to help police solve crime and obtain convictions against wrongdoers.

Henderson told us that his department provides an essential service, but investigation is up to the cops. The Scenes of Crime department now has trained investigators to help the police put everything together.

While touring the room containing the new spectrometer, it was explained to reporters that the machine is an evolution of two older models still in use at the service, one donated by the United Nations in the very first year of the Forensic Service’s existence, the other donated by the U.S. Embassy here eight years later.

The new machine combines the job of separating the elements of the tested substance and analysing that content. Two members of the National Forensic Science Service are at present out of the country seeking Masters’ degrees in Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology, which will help their analysis of items brought to the Service by police, ranging from suspected drugs to fire patterns to poisons.

At Thursday afternoon’s ceremony, CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell made a public plea for further assistance to obtain the Holy Grail of forensics, a DNA testing machine. The Service obtained in 2012 an integrated ballistics testing system from Canada.

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