The Ross Police Forensic Investigation Unit handles a wide variety of forensic applications. It is also equipped with full complement of equipment for developing film and digital photographs. The photo and crime lab performs a variety of functions for the department:
Crime Scenes - The lab is equipped with a full compliment of equipment and supplies for response to any major crimes. The capabilities include but are not limited to crime scene photography, latent print collection, DNA and other blood evidence collection, shoe and tire impression casting, and trace fiber collection.
Traffic Accident Investigations - The forensic investigation unit assists the traffic department in accident reconstruction by photographing serious accident scenes. Once developed, photographs may then be used as evidence in criminal and civil prosecutions.
In-house Evidence Processing - The crime lab also compliments the Patrol and Detective divisions with criminal investigations. Evidence collected is often processed in the crime lab primarily for latent fingerprint development. The lab uses a wide range of processes including but not limited to applications of cyanoacrylate, nynhydrin and small particle reagent. These are all chemicals used to develop latent fingerprints on surfaces not favorable for processing with standard fingerprint powders.
Public Relations - Lab personnel are also occasionally given photography assignments for various events. Additionally, crime lab demonstrations are performed through the department's Special Programs Unit, which regularly gives police station tours to organized civic youth groups.
The Ross Police Department Forensic Investigation Unit is an integral part of the functioning of the Ross Township Police Department. The lab assists with hundreds of cases each year, which aids the department in the identification and prosecution of criminal offenders. The department laboratory is also considered one of the most advanced labs in Allegheny County for a municipal police department of this size. The lab personnel are dedicated to the enhancement of public safety through forensic science.