In 1995, tucked away in a small room at the Department of Energy Pinellas Plant, the National Forensic Science Technology Center was founded. Just weeks before, the O.J. Simpson trial had concluded with a verdict announced in front millions of TV viewers from across the world. The months-long trial highlighted testimony from forensic scientists and crime scene investigators, piquing interest in the industry and its vulnerabilities.
Seeing the gaps in the industry, the members of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) founded NFSTC with a charge “do good things.” The challenge was to find, create and establish necessary answers to the questions left behind after the Simpson case wrapped. Subsequent projects included everything from laboratory accreditation preparation, DNA audits and crime scene investigation and other forensic training.
Twenty years later, the NFSTC headquarters is a 50,000 square foot space housing training facilities, technology evaluation and laboratory space, media production studio and space for hands-on crime scene scenario training.
As always, our goal is to have science serve justice as we approach new threats both domestically and internationally. Over the years, NFTSC has taken the lead in developing projects to benefit forensic science and practitioners, including:
- DNA audit program
- Forensic Technology Center of Excellence
- National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
- Forensic Information Data Exchange (FIDEX)
- Field Investigation Drug Officer (FIDO)
- Crime Scene Investigation Guide
- Crime Scene Investigation Training
Looking back, we’ve accomplished a lot with the help of our supporters, partners and practitioners. Looking forward, we are well equipped to take on the new challenges in forensic science.
Join the conversation on Twitter using #NFSTC20 as we celebrate this milestone all year.