Agency Spotlight–FBI Science and Technology Branch

Aug 22, 2017

Parts 1 and 2 of this series have looked at branches of the FBI, including the National Security Branch, the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, the Intelligence Branch, the Information and Technology Branch, and the Human Resources Branch. This post will look at the final branch of the FBI–the Science and Technology Branch.


Science and Technology Branch

Established in 2006, this branch uses advanced scientific techniques and operational techniques to help counter terrorism and criminal threats. Workers in the branch are experts in areas such as biometrics, forensic science, and tactical operations.


Their mission is to support the FBI mission by discovering, developing, and delivering innovative science and technology capabilities that enhance intelligence and investigative activities.


Be the premier provider of applied science and technology capabilities.

Forensic Science

FBI’s scientists, lab technicians, engineers, and forensic examiners perform the following:

  • Biometric Analysis—provide accurate, complete, and timely forensic analysis, including reporting, training, testimony, and technical support for latent print and DNA exams.
  • Scientific Analysis—provide accurate, complete, and timely forensic analysis, including reporting, training, testimony, and technical support for cryptanalysis, chemistry, firearms/tool marks, questioned documents, and trace evidence exams.
  • Operational Response—Identifying, documenting, and safely collecting, preserving, transporting, and exploiting evidence—which can include chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials—from crime scenes within the U.S. or abroad.

Operational Technology

The following are some of the services provided by the Science and Technology Branch to ensure national security:

  • Digital forensics—collecting and examining digital evidence gathered from computers, audio files, video recordings, images, and portable electronic devices.
  • Electronic surveillance—developing and deploying tools to perform lawfully authorized intercepts of wired/wireless telecommunications and data network communications
  • Tactical Operations—deploying tools, systems, and equipment used in covert searches.

Information Sharing

The following are a few types of information sharing by the Science and Technology Branch:

  • Crime reporting—collecting and publishing crime statistics from nearly 18,000 law enforcement agencies.
  • Biometrics—expanding traditional law enforcement tools such as fingerprint identification to new forms including palm prints, iris, and voice and facial patterns.
  • Criminal background checks—network of databases including federal/state records for use by law enforcement during investigations and arrests.

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