Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Forensic institute to get state-of-the-art equipment

Published:Tuesday | November 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The State-run Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine is to receive additional state-of-the-art equipment valued at just over $116 million (US$900,000) to further boost its operations by the end of January 2017.

Executive Director Dr Judith Mowatt said the institute is being provided with a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) machine, valued at approximately $64.5 million (US$500,000), and special ballistics equipment at a cost $51.6 million (US$400,000).

She was speaking with JIS News following the recent presentation of a $42.3-million (US$328,000) scanning electron microscope (SEN) to the Institute by United States Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Luis Moreno. The LC-MS machine, which is being facilitated by the European Union, will serve to further refine the institute's toxicology analyses of post-mortem samples.


Strengthened capability


Additionally, she said the ballistics equipment, which is being provided with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme, will strengthen the institute's capability to conduct accurate analyses on samples related to investigations involving firearms.

The executive director said the LC-MS machine is slated to arrive within the next two weeks, while the ballistics equipment is expected by the end of January 2017.

Mowatt pointed out that the acquisition of the latter will complete the institute's suite of Integrated Ballistics Information System (IBIS) equipment.

The IBIS facilitates the documentation and dissemination of correlated ballistics data determine whether a firearm has figured in any case other than the immediate matter being investigated by the police.

"We will have the most modern state-of-the-art equipment where ballistics examination is concerned," Mowatt said.

"What we are trying to do with the acquisition of more modern and state-of-the-art equipment is to automate a lot of our processes, so that we can produce the results demanded by our stakeholders in a more timely, more efficient and, certainly, in an accurate fashion," she added.