New State Police Forensics Lab Director appointed

Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown today announced a veteran forensic scientist with a broad range of expertise including DNA technology has been appointed as the new crime laboratory director.

Daniel E. Katz has been appointed director of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. Katz has worked in the Forensic Sciences Division since May 2007. Since January 2014, he has served as Acting Director of the Forensic Sciences Division, following the retirement of former Director Teresa Long.

“Dan Katz is an outstanding leader with significant credentials and experience who has already had an integral role in helping develop our lab into the preeminent scientific facility it is today,” Colonel Brown said. “The Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division is vital to the state’s crime fight because of the evidence analysis support the dedicated scientists there provide to any requesting police department. Dan will continue to build on the foundation of scientific excellence already established there and will work to expand the lab’s capabilities and services to Maryland’s law enforcement community.”

“I am grateful for this opportunity and the honor to lead the committed scientists, crime scene technicians, and support personnel who are a part of the Forensic Sciences Division,” Director Katz said. “This Division will continue to be a leader in forensic sciences support as we work together to unlock the secrets of crime scene evidence to identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent.”

The Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division currently consists of 92 employees who include scientists with specialties in a variety of forensic fields, crime scene technicians, police photographers, inventory control officers, and related support staff. Facilities include the 68,000 square feet crime laboratory in Pikesville and two satellite labs in Berlin and Hagerstown. The State Police lab is nationally accredited through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.

The State Police Forensic Science Laboratory conducts a full-range of scientific and forensic analyses. The lab not only analyzes evidence from Maryland State Police cases, but provides services for any requesting police department in the State. Last year, more than 70 percent of the evidence the State Police lab analyzed was from allied law enforcement agencies in Maryland.

Katz joined the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division in May 2007 as a forensic sciences manager, overseeing employees in the Forensic Biology Section, including those responsible for Maryland’s DNA database. During his tenure, with the support of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, an inherited backlog of 24,000 convicted offender DNA samples were analyzed and uploaded to Maryland’s DNA database. Since that time, the DNA database has operated at peak efficiency and, just last month, made its 3,500th positive DNA comparison.

In March 2009, Katz was appointed deputy director of the Forensic Sciences Division. He was responsible for the operation of the Scientific Analysis Branch of the Division and coordinated all grants and information technology activities.

Prior to joining the Maryland State Police, Katz oversaw the DNA Unit in the Delaware Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for seven years. Before that, he worked as a nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyst for the Armed Forces DNA Laboratory.

Katz holds an undergraduate degree in biotechnology from the University of Delaware and a graduate degree in forensic science from the George Washington University. He earned a certificate in forensic laboratory management from the University of California at Davis.

Katz is currently a commissioner on the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission. He is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. He has given dozens of scientific presentations and authored three journal articles dealing with DNA.

Source: http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/38086

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