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State Fire Marshal & CFO Alex Sink Congratulates Her Forensic Laboratory on Recent International Award

10/29/2010

CONTACT: Jerri Franz or Jennifer Hirst, 850-413-2842

TALLAHASSEE— Florida CFO & State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today commended the State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Forensic Fire and Explosives Analysis (BFFEA) for receiving the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Vollmer award for Excellence in Forensic Science.  The Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award recognizes the proactive, innovative use of forensic technologies by law enforcement and the significant impact of forensic science on the criminal justice system.

The BFFEA specializes in the analysis of fire debris and explosives and is one of only three states, including Texas and Ohio, that operates a specialized forensic laboratory in the United States.

When processed early in the investigation, fire debris analysis can establish a suspect’s access or exposure to setting the fire or can be used in early interrogations. The forensic report may only be used during a trial as prima facie evidence that the fire was not accidental. 

“I am very proud of our laboratory and staff for receiving this distinguished award and for their hard work and commitment to assisting other agencies in their investigations,” said CFO Sink. “I applaud Bureau Chief Carl Chasteen and his team not only for being acknowledged for their excellence, but also for their commitment to fire departments throughout Florida for whom they conduct the analyses.”

Since 1992, Florida’s Division of State Fire Marshal’s BFFEA has recognized the importance of decreasing turnaround time for analyses of fire debris evidence in completing investigations, reaching an average turnaround today of 7.7 days from July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2009.  This speedy turnaround ensures that fire debris results get to investigators in sufficient time to be factored into preliminary investigation and represents a 58.4 percent reduction in turnaround time with a 54.3 percent increase in the number of samples processed. 

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices. Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.