Police Device Iidentifies Drugs In Minutes
A new testing device may assist law enforcement officers in North Carolina on the war against drugs. North Carolina currently relies on the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab to analyze drug samples, but the lab is so backed up it may take three years just for a case to get to trial. Drug dealers are often released and then later arrested again.
The new device is made by NarTest Technologies and is a box that uses fluorescent light to detect and identify small amounts of chemicals in just a matter of minutes. Lt. Stevie Salmon of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Department says it is helpful for investigations, and has used a prototype of NarTest Technologies device for about eight months.
The device will sell for around $40,000 starting in May and would cover training, technical support, and a computer.
The technology is expected to be challenged by defense attorneys when it is introduced into the justice system. Law enforcement agencies in High Point, Greensboro, Wilmington, and Cary have either tested NarTest’s prototype or are interested in using it, says NarTest marketing director Doug Branch.
Scientists at the company’s headquarters say the device can now detect marijuana from other plant leaves and trace small amounts of cocaine.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Raleigh News & Observer (NC) (04/08/06) P. D2; Vollmer, Sabine .