Forensic Laboratory

cocaine kilo

Wrapped in layers of plastic and gel used to mask odors (which does not work), this is a solid brick of cocaine.  A kilo of fentanyl will look the same as a kilo of cocaine.

comp scope

This is a comparison scope used to examine fired components side-by-side.  Firearms examiners are able to look at the microscopic markings on the evidence to help evaluate whether 2 items were fired from the same firearm.

counterfeit tablets

These fake pharmaceuticals are prepared to mimic Xanax pills, but actually contain fentanyl.

DNA analysis

This genetic analyzer is used to generate DNA profiles.

Fire debris packaging

Please note: ignitable liquid residues quickly evaporate and require sealed paint cans or special plastic bags for preserving evidence.

Fracture match

Fractured items can be compared for physical match and can offer quick investigative information, especially in Hit and Runs.  Do not try to piece them back together on your own, it will compromise the evidence.

Paint examination

Paint examinations play an important role in Hit and Runs.  Microscopic paint chips can be embedded in the victim's clothing so it is important to submit the clothing along with samples of the suspect vehicle's paint.

Shirt exam with ALS

Using an Alternate Light Source, biological stains can be viewed that are unable to be seen with regular lighting.

Hi-point pistolRifling

These images demonstrate the rifling inside the barrel of a Hi-Point pistol.  Rifling is the manufacturer's twisted grooves inside the barrel that help the bullet fire in a fast straight path.



The following links provide access to general methods of testing used by the Laboratory, submssion guidelines, complaint procedure and the documents necessary for submitting evidence, filing a complaint or submitting a customer satisfaction survey.  These are for agencies utilizing lab services only.

The Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory (ECCPSFL) is located in the Public Safety Campus at 45 Elm Street in downtown Buffalo, NY.  The laboratory has a staff of twenty-five (25) members who serve to provide scientific support to over forty (40) Local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies.  The ECCPSFL is accredited in all disciplines listed below by the New York State Commission of Forensic Science and the ANSI National Accreditation Board.  The laboratory was first accredited by ASCLD/LAB on September 27, 1993 in the following disciplines:

  • Controlled Substances
  • Trace Evidence
  • Serology
  • Forensic DNA Typing (PCR)
  • Firearms/Toolmarks
  • Toxicology

Currently, we are accredited in the following disciplines:

  • Seized Drugs
  • Materials (Trace) (Paint, Tape, Polymers, General Unknowns)
  • Forensic Biology (DNA)
  • Firearms
  • Fire Debris
  • Footwear/Tire

For information regarding referral to an accredited laboratory for forensic testing that is not offered by the ECCPSFL, please contact the Laboratory Director.  The principle mission of the Erie County CPS Forensic Laboratory is to provide centralized scientific support and assistance in association with criminal investigations.  This is generally accomplished through the analysis of recovered items of physical evidence.  Once forensic scientists are consulted, they serve to provide the criminal justice system with analytical testing, formal scientific reports and opinion testimony.


Under Special Order #32 (dated March 19, 1935), former Buffalo Police Commissioner, James W. Higgins, established within the Buffalo Police Department a "Ballistics Laboratory".  The services provided by this laboratory were eventually expanded to include chemical analyses and the laboratory was designated the "Scientific Crime Detection Unit" of the Buffalo Police Department.

A study by the Erie and Niagara Counties Regional Planning Board during the early 1970's indicated the need for a single forensic laboratory to serve all law enforcement agencies within Erie County.  Consequently, in 1975, city and county government officials finalized plans to have the staff and instrumentation of the Buffalo Police Scientific Crime Detection Unit become a division of the Erie County Department of Central Police Services.  The ECCPSFL was officially established on July 1, 1975.  The Laboratory continued to operate in BPD Headquarters (74 Franklin St.) until November 2005 when it moved to the Erie County Public Safety Campus at 45 Elm Street, Buffalo, NY.

General Information for Submitting Agencies

  • The Erie County CPS Forensic Laboratory will only accept evidence submitted by the District Attorney's Office or Local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies.
  • The laboratory does not provide analysis for private citizens or for civil litigations.
  • The Forensic Laboratory's general operational hours are from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Monday - Friday.  Upon special request, laboratory personnel will be made available 24/7 to assist law enforcement agencies at crime scenes or other special/field investigations.
  • Evidence can be directly submitted to the laboratory between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. on normal business days.  A secure locker area is available for evidence drop-off after hours.
  • All submissions must be accompanied by a completed Request for Lab Examination Form.  By signing this form, the submitting agency acknowledges that the Laboratory will select the appropriate items to be analyzed and the methods of analysis.
  • The Erie County CPS Forensic Laboratory is responsible for determining the appropriate test methods utilized for analysis.  A listing of approved test methods can be found in the document: Methods Used for Examination of Evidence.
  • The Customer (any agency utilizing the ECCPSFL's scientific services), agrees to allow the Forensic Laboratory to determine, based upon existing policies, when submitted items will not be examined as requested.
  • The Erie County CPS Forensic Laboratory reserves the right to approve deviations to the test methods utilized when appropriate for analysis and suitability of samples for such test methods, and such deviations will be defined in the report.
  • The ECCPSFL seeks feedback from its customer agencies and will actively pursue any concerns/complaints made against its operation and/or quality system by its customers.  Instructions for filing a complaint can be found in the document: Complaint Procedures for Customers.

Frequently Requested Information


Phone: (716) 858-8219
Fax: (716) 858-6039

Central Police Services
Public Safety Building
45 Elm Street
Buffalo, New York 14203