Forensic Science, the application of science to the law, has emerged as a major force in the attempts of the criminal justice system to control crime and to ensure a high quality of justice. The TBI Forensic Scientists possess a wide array of analytical skills, including the ability to reconstruct crime scenes, identify and compare physical and biological evidence and link offenders with their victims. In some cases, the TBI has even been able to exonerate those who were falsely accused.
The TBI’s Forensic Services Division processes evidence for every law enforcement agency and medical examiner in the state. A Forensic Scientist must be skilled in applying the principles and techniques of physical and natural sciences to the analysis of the many types of evidence that may be recovered during criminal investigations. The scientist must also have a strong working knowledge of the judicial system. The procedures and techniques that are utilized in the crime laboratory must rest on a firm scientific foundation and satisfy the criteria of admissibility established by the courts.
Because of the broad range of requirements they must possess, all TBI Forensic Scientists are commissioned by the Director as Special Agents, have earned a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in chemistry or a closely related scientific field, and have completed extensive training related to forensic science and crime scene investigation.
The TBI Forensic Services Division is comprised of a central laboratory in Nashville and regional laboratories in Knoxville and Memphis. These laboratories provide forensic analysis of biological, chemical and physical evidence in specialized units.