16th Circuit Solicitor's Office


Forensic Services Unit Purpose

The York County Forensic Services Unit’s objective is to provide professional, efficient crime scene evidence collection and processing on a countywide basis. Consolidating manpower and resources allows all county law enforcement agencies to utilize the expertise, equipment and personnel of the unit that would not otherwise be available. The YCFSU will streamline and unify the process by which evidence is collected, processed, analyzed and reported thus streamlining the communication process between all county law enforcement agencies and the Solicitor’s Office. Creating standardized procedures regarding the collection, processing, analyzing and reporting of evidence countywide is a vital factor in enhancing the effectiveness of using such evidence to secure convictions. Consolidating the manpower, resources and assets of agencies performing identical or similar duties within the same region minimizes duplication of asset purchasing, streamlines the crime scene process and allows for uniform reporting of such collections and analyses.

Why We Have The Forensic Services Unit

The County of York’s law enforcement community is divided into seven distinct law enforcement agencies: The Clover Police Department, the Fort Mill Police Department, The Rock Hill Police Department, the Tega Cay Police Department, the Winthrop Department of Public Safety, the York Police Department and the York County Sheriff’s Office. These police agencies range in size from seven sworn officers to over 150 sworn officers. While each community served by these departments is beleaguered by the same difficulties in addressing the crime problem, results vary from community to community in part due to the disparity in size, manpower resources, assets, structure and training of each agency. A crime committed in one jurisdiction within the county may not receive the same consideration as the same crime committed in another due to these disparities. A key factor in successfully solving any crime is the ability to recognize, collect, analyze and report physical evidence that exists at nearly every crime scene. In today’s criminal justice system, a conviction of an offender may rest solely upon the physical evidence gathered against him. In contrast, physical evidence may also be used to eliminate or exonerate those suspected of wrongdoing. In order to effectively work any crime scene, an agency must invest considerable time in training officers as well as provide and maintain the necessary equipment available in order to recognize, collect and analyze evidence. Recognizing that this improvement was needed, the leaders of the criminal justice community in York County formed a small forensic unit with limited resources in April of 2002. The idea of forming the unit was to consolidate the manpower, resources and equipment of these three agencies and explore whether or not the agencies could succeed better at responding to, collect, analyze and report crime scenes in both quality and quantity. This unit has grown into a thirteen member unit that consists of a crime scene division, drug laboratory and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.