Fan of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “CSI”, or “CSI: Miami”? Ever wondered how close to reality these dramas really are? A reporter who attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) in San Antonio, Texas wrote an article about it. Here’s a snippet from MSNBC:
It takes weeks to get a toxicology report, not the 45 seconds (with musical accompaniment) you see on TV. DNA? That takes even longer and is a real budget buster. That is, if they can find it in the first place … apparently criminals don’t blithely leave their DNA around and even if they do, there’s the problem of contamination. And fingerprints? Don’t even get me started. Do you know how hard it is to find a useable print? I found out in San Antonio.
According to the law-enforcement officials I spoke to at the conference, the average police department doesn’t have money in its budget for the officers they need, never mind ballistic databases, photo-enhancing software and an in-Hummer scanner that match fingerprints at the crime scene.