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WHEREAS, the mission of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science is to provide laboratory services in criminal matters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, support the criminal justice system with quality and timely services, and advance the understanding of forensic science in order to promote public safety; and
WHEREAS, access to state of the art forensic analysis significantly improves the investigation of criminal activity, aiding in the exoneration of the innocent and the prosecution of the guilty; and
WHEREAS, scientists at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science provide accurate and reliable analysis of recovered evidence in the Controlled Substances, Digital & Multimedia Evidence, Firearms & Toolmarks, Forensic Biology, Latent Prints & Impressions, Toxicology, and Trace Evidence Sections; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science advances the understanding of forensic science through its discipline-specific trainings for Virginia attorneys and judges, and through its Forensic Training and Breath Alcohol Sections, which offer a variety of training programs for law enforcement in crime scene technology and licensure for breath test operators; and
WHEREAS, staff from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science continued working in the laboratory despite the COVID-19 pandemic to provide its forensic services to support the criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, numerous professional organizations have recognized September 20-26, 2020, as National Forensic Science Week and individuals across the country will be celebrating; and
WHEREAS, the hardworking people of our forensic science community in Virginia deserve recognition and appreciation for their dedication and commitment to providing quality and unbiased scientific analysis in support of the cause of justice;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 20-26, 2020, as VIRGINIA FORENSIC SCIENCE WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.