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News

2008 expansion for US forensic DNA laboratory

Sorenson Forensics : 04 February, 2009  (Company News)
High financial results for 2008 result in expansion at Sorenson Forensics to meet increased demand for forensic DNA laboratory services across the country
Sorenson Forensics has announced its gross revenues increased 240 percent in 2008 over the previous year. The independent business unit of Sorenson Genomics found increased profits by offering innovative programs to law enforcement, public crime labs, courts and private labs that helped these clients meet an increasing demand for timely and accurate forensic DNA services.

In business less than two-and-a-half years, Sorenson Forensics gained prominence in 2007 by providing advanced DNA identification services to Utah law enforcement that lead to a string of successful cold case prosecutions. Since that time, Sorenson Forensics expanded laboratory capacity, doubled the number of scientists on staff and is now regarded as one of the top private forensic DNA laboratories in the US.

In addition to processing DNA casework from overworked public agencies, Sorenson Forensics has developed two programs to strengthen their clients' own ability to provide accurate DNA evidence. A one-on-one crime-scene DNA evidence collection class is now presented on-site for law enforcement officers, and expert laboratory validation services are provided to public crime labs. Validation ensures that laboratory equipment and protocols meet the latest industry standards.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office was one of the first in the country to bring in Sorenson Forensics' crime scene DNA evidence collection training for its officers. In its first year, the program was presented in eight states and is already scheduled for 12 more states in 2009. During this eight-hour workshop, front-line law enforcement personnel learn how to properly collect DNA evidence such as hair and touched items. Mock crime scene exercises help them consistently apply appropriate scientific techniques.

"I highly recommend Sorenson Forensics to any government agency," said Detective Thomas Duroy of the Cold Case Homicide Squad at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Texas. "We had three private labs bid on our casework, and Sorenson Forensics had the best pricing. But what I really appreciate is their attention to detail and high level of service. If I need something, their customer-oriented staff responds quickly and often their laboratory director will answer my question personally." Montgomery County is the seventh largest sheriff's office in Texas, and has now solved several of the 116 cold cases it has begun investigating with DNA evidence.

Sorenson Forensics has developed a unique "collaborative forensics" approach to serving clients that is responsible for its increasing share of outsourced casework from public agencies, said Timothy Kupferschmid, executive director of Sorenson Forensics. "Our approach is that we work with all parties towards the common goal of reducing backlogs and solving crimes. Our scientific staff has decades of combined public and private forensic laboratory experience. We understand the dynamics of these organizations and the problems confronting them."

Sorenson Forensics has been awarded contracts with many of the largest municipalities in the US for its laboratory validation services and outsourced casework, and the Salt Lake-based company's reputation now reaches across the globe. In September 2008, Sorenson Forensics was awarded a contract to set up western Africa's first forensic DNA laboratory at the Center for Diagnostics and Research in Molecular Medicine in Dakar, Republic of Senegal.

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