Crime Laboratory Bureau

Crime Laboratory Bureau

The Crime Laboratory Bureau is part of the Division of Law Enforcement Services within the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Information restricted to law enforcement agencies is available within WILENET's secure area. The information below is available to the public.

Physical Evidence Handbook
The Wisconsin Crime Lab has published the 8th Edition of the Physical Evidence Handbook.

Forensic Analysis Units
Scientific analysis of physical evidence is conducted by 10 or 11 specialized units grouped into three sections. A brief description of the areas of analysis for each unit is listed below.
  • Chemistry
    • Drug Identification. Analyzes for the presence (or absence) of controlled substances including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, and THC.
    • Toxicology. Analysis of bodily specimens for the presence of chemicals that are harmful to man or for which ingestion is in some way defined as a criminal offense.
    • Trace. Analysis of a broad spectrum of physical evidence including paint, glass, fibers, fire debris, explosives, fireworks, lamp filaments, plastics, lubricants, household and industrial chemicals, building materials, cosmetics, tapes, ropes and cordage and metals.
  • Criminalistics
    • Firearm/Toolmark. All aspects of firearms (including automated computer technology), toolmark, powder pattern and obliterated stamped serial number evidence.
    • Identification. Analysis to determine the presence of friction ridge ("finger") prints, and footwear impressions, AFIS; comparison of prints/impressions to establish identity.
    • Forensic Imaging. Conducts photographic and digital imaging examinations and provides support for the analytical units.
    • Field Response. Responds to calls from law enforcement agencies for assistance at major crime scenes, typically homicides, and autopsies.
    • AFIS Specialists. AFIS Specialists operate the states Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), providing identification information to all law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin.  This system serves as the central repository for fingerprint identification records relating to persons arrested throughout the state.
  • DNA Analysis
    • DNA Databank. Analyze samples of DNA from persons convicted of sexual assault and other crimes; database for future comparisons against "unknown" samples from crimes.
    • DNA Analysis. Analyzing and comparing blood and other body fluids connected with crimes to characterize enzymatic or genetic information about the donor.