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The Crime Lab makes a difference by ... providing leads

In honor of National Forensic Science Week, the Orange County Crime Lab wants to educate the public on the many ways our work impacts the county and makes a difference in the life of the citizens we serve.


Making sense of what gets left behind is the crux of the work of the OC Crime Lab.


The lab provides law enforcement agencies vital leads to help investigate potential suspects. Often the only thing left at crime scenes are items left by the perpetrator, and evidence is collected for possible linking of the perpetrator to the crime scene. These items – from the microscopic to the massive -- help forensic scientists understand what has occurred.


The Criminalistics Bureau provides scientific processing of major crime scenes, firearms & tool mark evidence, and trace evidence. The evidence that is collected and analyzed from major crime scenes helps detectives understand exactly what occurred.


Forensic personnel utilize their skills to evaluate evidence such as firearms, bullets, bullet holes, bloodstain patterns, fibers and fire debris. We can associate a bullet collected at an autopsy to a suspect's gun, determine a possible path where the shot originated, use evidence to link a suspect to a crime scene, analyze arson debris to suggest the kind of explosive or accelerant used, and our trained scientists evaluative and interpret various types of bloodstain patterns to determine a sequence of events. Used directly in court and the legal system, our work advocates for the evidence, and speaks without bias.