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IACP 2016: Variety of detection devices offer rapid DNA turnaround

IACP 2016 offers the best detection devices in the technology world right now

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Hello from IACP 2016.

The amount of technology to which I was introduced at this show is phenomenal. Detection devices are only some of the products I reviewed.

First up are some handheld Raman Analyzers.

Handheld Raman Analyzers are important tools for the field user. They work by emitting a laser into the material being tested, which excite the materials being analyzed. Each material has a unique fingerprint. Since most can detect dangerous chemicals and explosive devices, they are crucial in the field. A Raman Analyzer can quickly ascertain if the law enforcement officer’s environment is dangerous. They can also inspect things other than the drugs themselves. For example, they can quickly identify drug or hazardous device precursors.

I wish I had one of these on my shift. They can also act as a prescription medication PDR.

If your agency is considering a handheld Raman Analyzer, don’t forget to access for grant assistance.

The TacticID is really simple to use. The substance is placed against the sensor. The TacticID scanner thinks for a moment, and then tells the user what is in the substance. There are two TacticID products, the TacticID-N, which is generally used for narcotics testing and has a detection library of 1,000 items, and the TaticID-GP, which can detect over 10,000 items. Both of them have an easy to read HD display and touch screen capability.

It took me less than a minute to understand how to work the product. It is appropriate for nonscientific users and scientific users. The TacticID products can send their readings to a remote tablet, and can be integrated into GPS mapping.

Progeny ResQ
The Progeny ResQ is also a handheld Raman detector that features a 1064nm emitter, which allows it to detect through less transparent packaging. This also allows it to more accurately detect drugs that have cutting agents. It is MIL-STD-810G rugged.

The Progent ResQ can be used with predictive software, which can be set to scan an environment over time. This is an important feature for an agency looking for a combination of precursors. For example, the scanning can reveal a combination of precursors for T ATP, and the display will flash “use caution.”

RapidHIT ID is a turnkey solution rapid DNA analysis system that can perform a DNA human identification in about 90 minutes. Scientist Nick Andrews talked me through the product. It uses recognized, court-proven, DNA profiling from a sample collected in the field.

A sample is put in the top of the box, and a DNA STR profile is created. The data format is compatible with CODIS, NDNAD and NCIID. It uses a buccal swab in a unique package. The package includes PCR reagents (which amplify the DNA pattern).

The RapidHIT ID product has enough consumable supply to test 150 samples. The machine does a self-check, and it notifies users if anything needs to be added. One of the factors in time lag for DNA samples is transportation. If the ability to analyze DNA is closer to the source, many problems are eliminated.

Andrews told me that this particular product is used in the United Kingdom, China, and India. It would take the House passing the DNA Act of 2016 for this product to be in use in the U.S.

Why is this important? It’s not just a rapid DNA turnaround. It also is an opportunity to free up forensic analysis for other purposes around a crime scene.

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.