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Case Study

Massachusetts State Police Forensics Lab Monitoring

The Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory recently deployed the Spider Thermo Forensics Lab Monitoring System to ensure the safe storage and preservation of its crime-related evidence. Their crime lab responds to crime scenes, performs laboratory testing, provides expert testimony and is responsible for safely storing all crime related evidence.

 

Playing an essential role to the criminal justice system, DNA samples held at the state of Massachusetts Maynard lab are consulted by police, prosecutors and experts.  

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Meeting Environmental Control Requirements

The Massachusetts State Forensic Technology Center houses an industrial-sized, temperature- and humidity-controlled room with over 82,000 sealed and number-coded envelopes containing criminal blood samples. These DNA samples must be kept at 66 degrees Fahrenheit with stabilized humidity at all times. Lab personnel are responsible for monitoring and responding to any changes in storage conditions in order to protect the integrity of their forensic evidence. With the Spider Thermo Environmental Monitoring System, this is no longer a time-consuming requirement.

In the past year, usage of the state’s DNA database system has nearly tripled from 121 to 452 case-to-case or case-to-suspect hits. The forensic evidence stored within the Maynard lab is used to identify prime suspects and free prisoners wrongly convicted before advances in forensics.

High Scale Forensics Lab Monitoring

Temperature and humidity sensors were installed within multiple divisions of the Maynard lab. The Spider Thermo Forensics Lab Monitoring System was first deployed by the Forensic Technology Center’s DNA, Criminalistics, and CCIU divisions.

 

Thirty-nine sensors are currently active in the DNA area, eleven sensors in the Criminalistics area, and two sensors in the CCIU area. Together, these sensors monitor refrigerators, freezers, and rooms where DNA and criminal evidence testing is performed, and samples are stored. More recently, our remote sensor monitoring technology has been extended to support Evidence Control, Crime Scene Services Section, and Firearms Investigative Services.

Protecting the Integrity of Forensics Evidence

With the Spider Thermo Forensics Lab Monitoring System, the integrity of The Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory’s examined evidence is protected at all times and kept to a high standard.

 

First adopters from the state’s Forensic Technology Center were so impressed by the speed and ease of our lab monitoring system that additional wireless sensors were integrated to serve more lab departments. 

 

Spider Thermo’s use of cutting-edge machineQ cellular wireless sensors allowed Massachusetts State Police leaders to meet the growing demand for a robust DNA database system without overburdening their internal IT department. The system was rapidly deployed without the hassle of complex cabling and IT involvement. Able to connect without local WiFi, machineQ cellular wireless sensors eliminated the networking challenges commonly associated with sensor coverage area expansion.

Lab technicians fully rely on the Spider Thermo Forensics Lab Monitoring System to monitor temperature and humidity changes and receive automated mobile and email alerts at the first sign of trouble. Real-time conditions can be viewed at any time using a mobile or web device. Equipment performance can be measured over time and auditing reports can be generated in seconds with the reporting and analytics dashboard. 

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