Forensic Lab FAQS
Frequently asked questions about the Forensic Lab.
Where is the Forensic Laboratory located?
The NH State Police Forensic Laboratory is located in the Department of Safety Building, 33 Hazen Dr., Concord, NH.
Who utilizes the lab forensic services?
Forensic Laboratory services are available to all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the state of New Hampshire for the purpose of rendering assistance in criminal investigations and legal proceedings. All submissions of exhibits should be in connection with criminal investigations that take place in New Hampshire or are in some way connected to New Hampshire. No examinations may be conducted for private individuals or corporations.
What are the Forensic Laboratory hours?
Evidence submission hours are 8:00 am – 2:30 pm, M-F and appointments are highly recommended. See the Evidence Submissions page for a link to the scheduling website.
Laboratory staff can be reached during the hours 8:00 am – 4:15 pm.
How can I obtain a copy of a laboratory report?
Reports of Laboratory Examinations are distributed to the original submitting agency and cannot be released to individuals. Please contact the investigating agency for questions regarding access to a report.
Does the Forensic Laboratory offer public tours?
Unfortunately, due to space limitations, current workload, and safety and privacy concerns the laboratory does not offer tours of the facility.
Does the Forensic Laboratory offer internship or job shadow experiences?
The laboratory does not offer internships or other types of job shadow experiences. Due to our International accreditation standards, visitors must be supervised at all times and interns cannot handle actual evidence, which often precludes our criminalists from performing their assigned work in an efficient manner. With space limitations and high volumes of casework, the laboratory does not have the resources in place to ensure a meaningful internship experience for both the student and staff.
I am interested in the field of forensics as a career. What are the requirements to work in the NH lab?
Criminalists conduct forensic analyses on items of evidence submitted in connection with criminal and medical investigations. Criminalist positions in the laboratory require, at a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree with a major study in chemistry, biological sciences or forensic sciences and two years prior experience working in a laboratory setting. Individuals with undergraduate degrees in other major areas of study such as criminal justice or forensic psychology do not qualify for Criminalist positions. Strong candidates for open positions are those with educational backgrounds that include multiple advanced and in-depth laboratory classes in the natural sciences such as chemistry and biology. These types of classes provide the foundational knowledge necessary to work with the technologies and analytical workflows used daily in the forensic laboratory. The exception would be for a Criminalist position in the Digital Evidence Section for which a strong background in computer science and cyber security would be relevant.
Criminal Evidence Technicians coordinate the submittal, storage and tracking of items submitted to the laboratory as part of the Evidence Control Section. Criminal Evidence Technician positions require an Associate's degree with major study in laboratory technology or in the biological sciences, health sciences, chemical sciences, physical sciences, forensic science, computer science, or a related field and two years prior experience working in a laboratory setting. Each additional year of approved formal education may be substituted for one year of required work experience.
Once selected for any position in the laboratory, a candidate must pass a comprehensive State Police background check in addition to a fingerprint-based criminal background check and motor vehicle record check prior to hire.
How often do laboratory personnel assist at crime scenes?
In NH, sworn law enforcement officers handle crime scene investigation. Criminalists’ primary responsibility is to conduct analyses on items while in the laboratory and they do not routinely go to crime scenes. When laboratory personnel are requested to assist at certain crime scenes, it is to facilitate best evidence collection and safety practices by Criminalists with discipline specific knowledge and training (e.g., clandestine lab scenes, or scenes with specific types of impression evidence such as tire tracks or fingerprints).
I had a blood sample collected as part of a Driving under the Influence (DUI) investigation. How do I pick up this sample for independent testing?
Individuals seeking to obtain a portion of their blood sample that was drawn for the purpose of DUI investigation should contact the laboratory to schedule a time for pickup during regular business hours.
For Blood cases, per Department of Safety Administrative Rules Saf-C 6400, a sample of sufficient quantity can be released in hand: to the subject with positive proof of identification such as a driver's license; to counsel with proof of representation and proof of identification; or to a person designated by counsel with written authorization by counsel, proof of representation, and proof of identification. For blood samples drawn following a Breath Alcohol Test, per Department of Safety Administrative Rules Saf-C 9000, following payment of the administrative fee a sample can be released in hand: to the subject with positive proof of identification such as a driver's license; to counsel with proof of representation and proof of identification; or to a person designated by counsel with written authorization by counsel, proof of representation, and proof of identification.
A full list of these Administrative Rules are available for view through the Department of Safety website.
Who can I contact with questions about proper evidence packaging and submissions?
A link to the Handbook of Forensic Services can be found on the Evidence Submissions page which contains evidence specific collection instructions for the different specialty areas of the laboratory. Questions can also be answered by the evidence control unit or section supervisors by phone or email during regular business hours.