BCA Forensic Scientist, Dr. Jason Simser on March 5, 2014

Dr. Jason Simser, BCA Forensic Scientist spoke on forensic DNA at Science Salon on March 5 at the Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Dr. Simser is a Forensic Scientist in the Biology Section of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Service. Dr. Simser talked about the biology section of the BCA, evidence exams and different forms of DNA testing and presented an overview of the BCA, investigations, criminal histories and law enforcement support.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) provides investigative and specialized law enforcement services to prevent and solve crimes in partnership with law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice agencies. Services include criminal justice training and development, forensic laboratory analysis, criminal histories and investigations.

The Minnesota legislature created the BCA in 1927 to assist peace officers statewide in solving crimes and apprehending criminals. The division of statistics, a forerunner of the Minnesota Justice Information Services (MNJIS), was added in 1935, as were additional personnel and full police power for the bureau's agents.

The BCA lab became operational in 1947, and the BCA became a part of the newly-created Department of Public Safety in 1969. The BCA established one of the first DNA laboratories in the nation in 1990, and shortly afterward became the first in the nation to identify a suspect based solely on DNA.

Registered attendees were also able to sign up for a tour of the BCA on Thursday, March 13. The tour was informative and exceptionally interesting.