Category Archives: Newsroom

NFSTC to train University of South Florida St. Petersburg forensic science students

USF St Petersburg LogoThe National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is taking forensic science students out of the classroom for a unique, hands-on learning opportunity. The Largo-based training facility is opening its doors for 14 students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) for a first-of-its-kind partnership between the two institutions.

“NFSTC has an international reputation in forensic science,” says USFSP adjunct professor Max Houck. “The USFSP students are lucky enough NFSTC is a bay area facility that will provide global capabilities within driving distance.”

Alternate Light Source TrainingDuring the course, Field Forensics, students will attend weekly three-hour sessions led by NFSTC’s subject matter experts. Topics include the basics of identifying, collecting and packaging evidence, to the new and emerging forensic space of biometric intelligence and digital media exploitation. Students will have the opportunity to try techniques and get hands on experience to augment their understanding.

“This is training I wish I had before I set foot in my first laboratory,” Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “It’s important to know on paper how things are supposed to work. Our goal is to guide these students to use their classroom knowledge for practical, real-world solutions.”

NFSTC is committed to supporting quality education and training, and has worked with universities before through development of curriculum at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg College, University of Central Florida and University of Florida.  The facility also hosts a two-week Biometric and Forensics Internship to college ROTC Cadets each summer.

USFSP students will arrive at NFSTC Fridays in the spring 2017 semester.

NFSTC awarded three new national contracts

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) has received notification of one award from the U.S. Navy and two from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Although very different in format, these awards broaden the scope of NFSTC’s services into new military areas as well as for agencies in other countries.

The U.S. Navy has named NFSTC as a provider on the SeaPort-e contract and electronic purchasing platform. As a SeaPort-e contract holder, NFSTC will have the opportunity to bid on work for the Navy and its system commands, providing high-quality services available to our fleet and support infrastructure. SeaPort-e is a multiple award contract and the Navy’s vehicle of choice to procure engineering, technical, logistics, program management and financial support services. NFSTC is proud to continue serve our nation’s military and will be a SeaPort-e provider under the current agreement through April 2019.

NFSTC has also received its first Department of State grants to provide training and other services for INL. The initial project will assess forensic capacities and develop capabilities to improve crime scene investigation, forensic analysis, storage and evidence control procedures, and courtroom presentation skills in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama and is valued at $1,540,000.

NFSTC delivers high quality, cost effective training and forensic technology services, and maintains an extensive network of subject matter experts to provide custom and flexible training to customers including the US and international military, and civilian law enforcement agencies.

Leaving a mark on the St. Petersburg Science Festival

Kids at the St. Petersburg Science FestivalIt’s always a great day for science, but this Saturday was a perfect day to celebrate the sixth annual St. Petersburg Science Festival. NFSTC staff, Pinellas Park High School Criminal Justice Academy students and a University of South Florida St. Petersburg ROTC Cadet shared their knowledge with thousands of children on the USFSP campus.

In our expanded three-tent booth, kids were able to solve the puzzle of fingerprints; examine their own loop, whorl or arch; match the tire print; and check their cyber awareness. Once again, the highly coveted evidence bags were supplied by Lynn Peavey and were gone Louis the pug at the St. Petersburg Science Festival before we packed up.

Even our furry friends had a chance to check out the “CSI: Largo” tent.

If you missed out on the fun, visit our Facebook and Twitter accounts for more great action shots. You can also download our at-home activity guide to continue the investigation year-round.

  At-Home Chemistry Activities


  At-Home CSI Activities

NFSTC to host free federal surplus program training

Image of the NFSTC challenge coin.Does your nonprofit, school or agency need materials to support programs?  Florida’s State Agency for Surplus Property (SASP) provides qualified groups access to a database of government surplus items, allowing them to acquire no- or reduced-cost goods.

What kind of materials are available? You can find thousands of items from circuit breakers to tractor trailers. Organizations can benefit by acquiring small or big-ticket items at very budget-friendly prices.

NFSTC is hosting a training session on Tuesday, September 27 for organizations in the Tampa Bay/Central Florida area to learn about how to access, use and benefit from SASP.

Your organizations may qualify for access if you are a

  • State or public agency.
  • Nonprofit educational or public health institution (including programs for the homeless and impoverished).
  • Museum, VFW, SBA 8(a).
  • Nonprofit or public program for the elderly.
  • Public airport.
  • Educational activity of special interest to the U.S. Armed Forces.

Learn more about SASP Eligibility here.

Space is limited. Reserve your seat for this free training today.

Note: This training provided by the Florida Department of Management Services.  Surplus program is run by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

NFSTC Notice: Fentanyl Precautions for Responders

Warning IconA barrage of recent news, headlined by the death of Prince, highlights the dangers of opioid-based painkillers and fentanyl in particular. Although prescription fentanyl is not new, versions of the drug are being created and sold outside the controls of normal pharmaceutical production and distribution, resulting in uncontrolled manufacturing, low cost, high availability, and extreme dosages of the drug. Unlike many illicit drugs, the fentanyl being found on the streets is lethal and can affect officers who do nothing more than handle the sample during a routine stop.

Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine Click To Tweet and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin.

NFSTC believes widespread general precautions should be taken by all officers, evidence personnel and laboratory analysts who are at risk simply by their exposure to unknown powders and liquids.

Recommended General Precautions:
Fentanyl is manufactured in pill, powder, liquid and patch formats. Fentanyl has been found in heroin and other drugs, so its presence cannot be excluded just because it is not in a traditional form.

Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and Evidence Personnel:
Proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):  Minimum PPE is advised for ALL DRUG-RELATED ENCOUNTERS includes gloves, mask and eye protection.

Processes and Protocol:
Due to the extreme toxicity of this substance in all forms, NFSTC recommends every agency conduct an immediate review of unknown powder and drug collection protocols and evidence processing.

  1. Do NOT open samples or containers that appear to be drugs without PPE. (Don’t know? Don’t open!)
  2. Do not perform any field-testing without PPE and, if possible, in a fume hood.
  3. Communicate with other first responders and emergency personnel when unknown or suspect material is present.

NFSTC believes it is imperative for personnel at every point in this process be properly trained and knowledgeable about the policies and protocols of their agency, and adhere to them.

For a printable page and resources, click here.