Division of Forensic Sciences
Welcome to the Division of Forensic Sciences (DFS) which houses the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories (WSCL). The WSCL provides forensic science testing for a variety of disciplines for all Wisconsin communities. The forensic science testing performed is unbiased and of the highest quality. The WSCL employs top-notch scientists many of whom are nationally recognized as leaders in the forensic science community. We welcome you to explore our forensic science testing capabilities, investigate our internship opportunities or contact us.
The WSCL was established on August 8, 1947 after Chapter 165 of the Wisconsin State Statutes was approved and published. The first Laboratory Superintendent, Charles M. Wilson, was hired to establish a laboratory in the Capitol Building in Madison. Shortly thereafter, the Madison Laboratory was relocated to the University of Wisconsin Madison campus and finally to University Avenue. Subsequently, a second full-service laboratory was opened in 1974 in New Berlin to serve the eight county Milwaukee metropolitan areas. In 1991, a third laboratory was opened with limited services in Wausau to provide service to the forty northern counties of Wisconsin. Despite it’s humble beginnings, today the WSCL employs approximately over 180 forensic scientists, laboratory technicians, and management, is composed of four distinct bureaus and provides forensic testing for all in Wisconsin’s 72 counties.
In 2019, the WSCL was reorganized within the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to create the Division of Forensic Sciences. The reorganization reaffirmed the commitment that the WSCL is not only performing the high quality analysis it is known for, but also is providing objective scientific analysis. This reorganization was part of a large national conversation with regards to the importance of the credibility of forensic science practices which were outline in the 2009 National Research Council paper “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward”. Per the report recommendations “…forensic scientists should function independently of law enforcement administrators. The best science is conducted in a scientific setting as opposed to a law enforcement setting.” From this reorganization in 2019, the WSCL has undergone a transformative period that will pivot DFS into the future via personnel, a Quality and Crime Scene Bureau, new buildings, updated equipment and more engagement and presence with national forensic science standards development and working groups.
Nicole Roehm has been at the Wisconsin DOJ WSCL since 2007 and has been the Administrator of the Division of Forensic Sciences since 2019. Nicole attended the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse for her undergraduate studies and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in biology with a biomedical science concentration. She attended the University of Florida for her graduate studies and received a Master’s Degree in Pharmacy and a certificate in Forensic Serology and DNA Analysis. Nicole started her forensic science career as a DNA Analyst at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory – Milwaukee in June 2007. Nicole has also worked on various initiatives for the WSCL and currently serves as a technical assessor for ANAB, a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), and a member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS).
Jennifer D. Naugle has been at the Wisconsin DOJ WSCL since 2009 and has been the Deputy Division Administrator since 2019. Jennifer attended The Pennsylvania State University and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology. Jennifer started her forensic science career as a DNA Analyst in a private laboratory in Virginia and has been in the field of forensics for over 16 years. Jennifer has worked on thousands of cases in her career including the World Trade Center Identification project for the OCME and Cold Case Initiative for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Jennifer has also worked on various initiatives for the WSCL and currently serves on national committees for forensic science policy and national advocacy. Jennifer is also an assessor for ANAB and has conducted many assessments over the years for external crime laboratories.
Current opportunities and information about employment with the Department of Justice can be found here.