The Southwest Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory is a regional crime lab that serves a five parish area (Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis). The lab employs eight full time analysts, an evidence custodian, and a director. 5,000 cases were submitted to the laboratory in 2012.
The following services are provided by the Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab:
Chemistry: The chemistry section is involved in analyzing samples for the presence of controlled and non-controlled substances. The majority of samples analyzed contain marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription medication.
DNA: In the summer of 2006, the Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab began performing DNA testing on casework. DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic material which is present in almost every cell in a person's body. A person's DNA is the same in every one of their cells, so for example a man's blood, semen, and saliva will all have the same DNA. DNA has the capability of discriminating between any two individuals except for identical twins.
Blood Alcohol: This section of the laboratory is involved in testing a person's blood and urine for the presence of ethyl alcohol.
Latent Prints: Items submitted to the laboratory can be processed for latent fingerprints. If latent fingerprints are found on evidence they can be compared to fingerprint cards taken from the suspect(s) or ran on AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) to see if a possible match occurs from the database.