The Maryland State Police have appointed a new forensics lab director. Teresa M. Long, acting director of forensic services who put the department's DNA analysis program into place, takes the spot vacated by Jay Tobin, who retired in July.
The department's 82 employees, including forensic scientists, crime scene technicians, police photographers, inventory control officers and support staff, analyze evidence from state police cases as well as other police agencies statewide, police said. The director also oversees a 68,000-square foot crime laboratory in Pikesville, as well as satellite labs in Berlin and Hagerstown.
Long said she was inspired to seek a career in forensic science when a state police trooper and crime scene technician stopped by her father's rural grocery store. He told her about forensic science and the state crime lab.
Her grandfather had advised her to be a "polite pest," so she called the lab weekly to ask about job openings. After graduating from Towson University with honors, the biology major worked at a biochemistry lab at the Johns Hopkins University until she was hired at the state lab in 1981.
Long has been preparing over the past nine months for the state's new DNA law to go into effect. The law requires that people charged with violent crimes or of burglary in the first, second or third degrees submit a DNA sample for the state database.