Students observing an analyst at work

Forensic Sciences offers a school tour program of the county's Forensic laboratory. These tours are offered to area colleges and Westchester County high schools. Currently, we are only conducting tours for schools. We do not offer tours for individuals. Trip planners should be aware that due to staffing and casework responsibilities, we must limit the number of tours and the number of individuals in each group. Currently, the maximum number of people, including students, teachers, chaperones, and drivers, cannot exceed 20. We will entertain one request per school per calendar year.

To reserve a date, print the tour application and return to the address on the form.

2020 SCHOOL TOUR DATES AVAILABLE

Tours have been cancelled until further notice.

If you previously scheduled a tour, you will be contacted when they are re-scheduled. Thank you for your understanding.

When your application is received, the Tour Coordinator will contact you via email to discuss the date and time that may be available for the tour. There are only a certain number of tour dates available throughout the year and our laboratory receives a large number of requests for tours. Therefore, the conduct of the tour participants will be evaluated by the tour guide(s). A copy of this evaluation will be emailed to you prior to your scheduled tour date so you are aware of our criteria. The decision to allow a tour group to return the following year will be based on this evaluation.

What to expect during a tour of the Forensic Laboratory
When your tour group arrives at the lab, a representative from the group will enter the building and speak to the receptionist and sign in your group. The receptionist will then notify the lab that you have arrived.

At this point the rest of the group may enter the atrium area of the lab. Please remember that this is a working facility. Tour participants are to be quiet throughout the tour, and should be respectful toward the members of the lab conducting the tour. All cell phones must be turned off while the group is in the building. There should be no phone calls or text messaging while the tour is being conducted. Any disruptive behavior may result in an early conclusion of the tour. With respect to school tours, teachers will be held responsible for the conduct of their group.

Your tour guide will take you on a walking tour of the facility. Due to security and contamination issues, you will not be permitted to enter the individual labs. You will, however, be able to look into the rooms through the windows in the hallway. Questions can be asked at any point during the walking tour.

At the end of the tour, there will be a question and answer period. The tour will then return to the atrium area where you will be signed out and board your vehicle for departure. A typical tour can take up to 90 minutes.

The use of the Web Prelog is limited to official use only and the link is no longer available online. If you need access to the Prelog system please call 914-231-4425 and leave a detailed message.

Prelog FAQ’s:

  1. I am on the last screen and I cannot see any selections for analysis type.
    1. Make sure that you have selected a case type in the case info screen.
  2. Why does my Prelog sheet say Submission 2 (or 3 or 4) when this is my first and/or only submission?
    1. If you went to the submission page more than once, you must hit edit to see and add to your current submission.  Clicking “Add” makes a new submission.
    2. Someone else from your agency or task force has Prelogged evidence before you on the same case.
  3. I have multiple items on the same case that were collected at the same time from the same person.  Do I make each a separate submission, or put them on the same submission.
    1. Put all of the items on the same submission.
  4. I have a bag with two items inside the sealed bag.  Do I put one item or two on the Prelog?
    1. One item.  Each package is an item, not the items inside the package.  The lab will identify these upon examination.

Blood and Urine extraction for drug testing

Toxicology is the study of harmful effects of chemicals on biological systems. It is a branch of pharmacology that incorporates many areas of knowledge including pharmacology, analytical and organic chemistry, physiology, and pathology. 

The Toxicology Laboratory analyzes biological specimens for the presence of alcohol, drugs and other toxic compounds as a part of postmortem medicolegal investigations of the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office. The Medical Examiner’s Office uses information generated by the toxicology laboratory when determining the manner and cause of death of an individual. Through the application of toxicological and pharmacological principles, the toxicologists interpret the test results in order to assist with the formation of conclusions regarding the circumstances of the death. 

The laboratory provides human performance testing services to local, county and state law enforcement agencies within the county associated with the charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol (DWI) and driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) arrests. Human performance testing refers to the testing of individuals for any impairment of their ability to operate motor vehicles due to the presence of drugs or other performance impairing substances. Laboratory testing results may determine impairment due to alcohol or confirm impairment by other drugs and substances.

Laboratory personnel also provide human performance testing consultations and testimony for breath alcohol testing conducted in the county by law enforcement agencies. 

On occasion, toxicological investigations are conducted for county health facilities.

Photograph of an intern observing analysis

The internship program has been suspended until further notice. If you were previously accepted for an internship, you will be contacted. Thank you for your understanding.

The Westchester County Forensic Laboratory offers an excellent, unpaid academically orientated internship program. 

Internships are certainly beneficial to students' academic growth. We've been offering school-sponsored internships since 1977. We offer a mature, highly respected and extensive program which involves a number of Forensic disciplines. 

You will be required to submit an elimination buccal sample if you are accepted for an internship or a shadow experience.

This is required in order for you to be able to observe analysts during the examination process and the DNA analysis of evidence. It is to ensure that a DNA profile obtained from the evidence is from the biological/trace material on the evidence and not from anyone present in the examination room or DNA laboratories.

A DNA profile may be generated and entered into the WCFL “STAFF” database that is stored in a secure limited access computer. If entered, it will be searched against all DNA profiles generated from evidence submitted to the WCFL.

If a DNA profile is generated it will not be uploaded to any other databases. In addition, your profile will not be given to any outside agencies (law enforcement, district attorney’s office, etc.).

If you have any questions regarding this, please send them along with your application.

College Students

The internship program at the Westchester County Forensic Laboratory is designed to meet the needs of Forensic Science majors that require an internship as part of their core curriculum.  The program also caters to Forensic Science students who do not require an internship as well as students majoring in related laboratory sciences.  Students who apply should be pursuing a career in a laboratory setting.

Only a limited number of the many students who apply become interns. You must complete and mail in the prospective college student intern application. For the application to be processed the following must be included: an updated resume including references, a copy of your school transcripts (transcripts do not need to be official at this time) and a letter on official school letterhead from your adviser stating that you are eligible to conduct the internship. Please do not staple or fold your submitted materials.

Upon receipt and processing, laboratory personnel will judge the applications. Selected students will be contacted for an interview, after which the final selection process will be made. Be prepared to answer scientific and technical questions during your interview.


Current students who apply for an internship must be in good academic standing in a Forensic Science program or a closely related laboratory sciences program. Three out of the following five classes must have been taken:

  • General Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Forensic Science

Applicants must meet one of the following: Attend a college/ university within New York or Connecticut or reside in New York. Please note that Westchester County residents will take precedence over non-Westchester County residents.

All students should verify the requirements of their school’s program before applying.  Students needing more than 200 hours to fulfill their program’s requirement will only be considered for the summer session.

Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the laboratory personnel.

There are four terms in which you can carry out your internship: winter intersession, the spring semester, summer, and the fall semester.  The deadlines (postmark date) for application are as follows:

  • Winter Intersession (Dec - Feb.) - postmark date Sept. 1st

  • Spring Semester (March - May) -  postmark date Nov. 1st

  • Summer (June - Aug.) - 
    The summer session is popular. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible. While there is no deadline for this session, as soon as a limit of applications is reached, no further applications will be considered.

  • Fall Semester (Sept. - Nov.) - postmark date June 1st

    As an intern you may observe the analysis of physical evidence in the following areas:
  • Forensic Biology
  • Trace Evidence
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Imaging 

Research projects in these areas are not guaranteed.

High School Students

Due to liability issues, we cannot accommodate high school students for internships. However, high school students may be granted a "shadowing experience" in which they spend one day viewing the various aspects of the laboratory. This shadow day takes place every second Tuesday of the month (excluding July and Aug.). Only high school students residing in Westchester County in their junior and senior years will be considered for the shadowing experience.

High school students are required to mail in the shadow application. Students that apply should have an interest in going into the field of Forensic Science. Students are asked to provide first and second choice dates for their shadowing experiences. It is strongly suggested that the student give multiple choice dates. The shadow experiences are on a first come first serve basis and the student's first and possible second choices may have already been filled. If you are granted a shadow day, you'll be at the laboratory from 9 a.m. to  1 p.m., spending time in each of the following sections:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Trace Evidence 

The laboratory is a professional environment and proper attire should reflect this. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Long hair must be appropriately secured. Contact lenses are prohibited. Improper dress will not be permitted and the shadow may be sent home if necessary. Not permitted in the laboratory are:

  • sleeveless shirts
  • shorts
  • sandals
  • open-toed shoes

Analysts processing a mock crime scene

The Forensic Science Laboratory routinely conducts training sessions for local law enforcement agencies in how to apply state of the art technologies to the examination of evidence and crime scenes.

Specialized workshops cover topics such as DNA laboratory capabilities, the use of CODIS in investigations, collection and packaging of physical evidence, impression evidence, bloodstain pattern analysis, crime scene photography, arson evidence collection, and audio, video / image analysis.

In addition to these laboratory initiated programs, our laboratory staff regularly participates in providing training for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, the WCPD Academy new recruit school and Zone 3 training sessions.

The training staff consists of laboratory analysts and others in the field of Forensic science many of whom hold positions as adjunct instructors in Forensic Science at local area colleges and are DCJS certified instructors.

Training Schedule

Training classes have been cancelled until further notice.

If you previously registered for a class, you will be notified when they are re-scheduled. Thank you for your understanding.