Springfield, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Forensic Services (DFS) is assisting
the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten forensic
scientists and one DNA research coordinator, have volunteered to lend their expertise to assist the
IDPH at the Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale laboratories. DFS is also evaluating the potential
for 14 additional forensics scientists who volunteered their assistance.
DFS personnel completed required training by IDPH before they began assisting with COVID-19
testing. Their duties include preparing samples and conducting testing, as well as assisting with
the related paperwork. One volunteer is specifically tasked with assisting the IDPH research and
development team with testing enhancement and reducing turn-around times.
IDPH Director Dr Ngozi Ezike said, “One of the keys to ending this pandemic sooner is testing,
which will tell us how much virus is circulating and where. This pandemic requires all hands ondeck and I want to thank the Illinois State Police laboratorians for helping in our response.”
“Our forensic scientists are unsung heroes who are often the critical difference in the pursuit of
justice,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Even in the midst of a global pandemic, these
volunteer scientists are bravely stepping up and serving in ways they could not have imagined to
protect public safety. Everyone in Illinois should be proud of them,” he concluded.
In addition to assisting with Covid-19 testing, ISP forensic labs are open and have staffed each
forensic discipline with social distancing, there is constant communication with stakeholders,
assignments are triaged based on public safety priorities of prosecutors and the courts, and all
requests from prosecutors during Covid-19 protocols are completed.
Since COVID-19 protocols were put in place March 17, DFS has completed 3946 forensic