Law Enforcement Technology

JAN 2016

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www.officer.com January 2016 Law Enforcement Technology 25 U nknown suspicious sub- stances require immedi- ate identification before responders can take the appropriate action. To complicate matters, "designer" drugs, which are typically contaminated with degrada- tion products, impurities and unreact- ed precursors, are in wide circulation across the globe and are often difficult to detect using traditional technolo- gies and methods. The demand for fast and accurate mobile techniques for the detection and identification of narcotics is higher than ever before. As the circula- tion of "designer" drugs increases, so too does the workload of forensic drug analysis laboratories. Overloaded with samples, the laboratories' heavy work- load sometimes results in unnecessary delays getting evidence to prosecutors, and may even impact the court's abil- ity to set bail for someone suspected of possessing illegal drugs and sub- stances. For many police departments, the drug evidence submitted for analy- sis accounts for the majority of total evidence submissions. One impetus for the use of mobile detection technologies is the lengthy time and high costs associated with laboratory analytical methods. The use of mobile detection technologies for sample screening lets users deter- mine the identity of a substance before sending it to the laboratory for further analysis. The drugs landscape has changed Something else to consider: Clandestine drug laboratories are increasingly add- ing cutting agents when manufacturing new generation drugs and narcotics. They do this in an effort to cut costs and make detection more difficult. Although there are a wide range of technologies currently available for the identification and detection these illegal substances, when faced with increasingly complex mixtures and active ingredients, some Handheld Raman analyzers like the Progeny ResQ (Rigaku) can be used for on-the-spot identification of suspicious substances. Progeny ResQ uses a 1064nm excitation laser which allows users to perform rapid identification for actionable results. N E W A D V A N C E M E N T S I N T E C H N O L O G Y TALKING POINTS Drug detection goes handheld By Edward Geraghty

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