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.
Forensic Analysis Units
Physical Evidence Handbook
The Wisconsin Crime Lab has published the 8th Edition of the Physical Evidence Handbook.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Forensic Imaging. Conducts photographic and digital
imaging examinations and provides support for the
- Questioned Document. Examination/comparison of
questioned handwriting, typewriting, commercial
printing, computer-generated documents, photocopies,
papers, and inks, etc.
- 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
- 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
- DNA Analysis. Analyzing and comparing blood and
other body fluids connected with crimes to characterize
enzymatic or genetic information about the donor.