"The defense is going to cry foul every once in a while for a new argument," Henry says. "We just need to maintain vigilance. That's why you need a crime lab managing the program — to stay on top of things, make sure certifications and recertifications are done right."
New officers (10 to 15 officers each month) need to be trained and certified in Phoenix to replace officers who transferred to other units, received promotions or decided not to participate in the program. Constant attrition is a constant challenge, Crump says.
As with any new program, FIDO has its challenges, but it also has potential for huge financial and system benefits for a jurisdiction.
If agencies want quick results that will hold up in court and allow them to forego having to send everything to the crime lab, Henry says FIDO will be a good fit.
"For agencies that have adopted FIDO, the days of court delays due to no crime lab report are disappearing. Given the nation's situation of limited resources for forensic testing, agencies have to think differently to provide effective and efficient services," says Henry; "especially if they want a speedy trial. FIDO is one tool that will allow them to attain this goal."
Rebecca Kanable has been writing about law enforcement issues for approximately 10 years. She can be reached at email@example.com.