The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office crime lab unit is one of six accredited crime laboratories in the State of Minnesota. The laboratory places a strong emphasis on the investigation of property crimes, which account for 50% of its investigations.
Select the appropriate service and provide the completed form to the crime lab or provide to the crime lab personnel at the crime scene.
The sheriff's office crime lab is one of only four crime laboratories in Minnesota that provide forensic DNA testing and participates in the FBI Combined DNA Index System - CODIS. CODIS allows the laboratory to compare biological evidence recovered at crime scenes to a database of DNA profiles that include the following:
- Individuals convicted of a crime
- Profiles developed from crime scene evidence such as semen stain or blood
- Arrested persons (if state law permits the collection of arrestee samples)
- Missing persons
- Unidentified human remains
- Profiles voluntarily contributed from relatives of missing persons
If certain upload criteria are met, CODIS database searches can be done on a local (LDIS), state (SDIS), or national level (NDIS).
Primary duties of this section include providing 24/7/365 crime scene processing services to the sheriff’s office, suburban Hennepin County law enforcement agencies, the Minnesota State Patrol, and a number of federal law enforcement agencies.
The CSIs assigned to the section are responsible for locating, collecting, and packaging evidence at crime scenes; photographing crime and accident scenes; and measuring, sketching and completing diagrams of crime scenes. CSIs also receive specialized training in bloodstain pattern analysis, shooting reconstruction, forensic mapping, and Panoscan.
Evidence specialists are responsible for the intake, secure storage, and disposal of evidence received by the laboratory.
The laboratory accepts evidence submissions Monday through Friday. Agencies must call ahead for submission appointments. This assists the staff in expediting the intake process and minimize wait times for other customers.
Firearm and tool mark examination
The primary responsibilities of the section include firearm examination, tool mark examination, and serial number restoration.
The section's duties include the recovery of latent prints from items of evidence submitted for processing and the comparison and identification of latent prints to known persons.
The HCSO Crime Laboratory participates in Midwest Automated Fingerprint Identification Network (MAFIN), a shared regional database of fingerprints from South Dakota, Minnesota, and North Dakota. MAFIN allows the laboratory to compare fingerprint evidence recovered from crime scenes to a database of known fingerprints and palm prints.
The Latent Print Section uses a Motorola Printrak Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) terminal to link to MAFIN. This enables a speedy comparison of fingerprints and detects matching records under alias names for all fingerprint records among the three states. The MAFIN database also contains unknown latent prints left at crime scenes. As new fingerprint records are added to the system, they are automatically searched against these unidentified prints.