ISU gets $300,000 grant to develop crime scene device

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Researchers at Illinois State University have received a $300,000 grant to work on a portable device that lets criminal investigators test evidence in the field.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports that the school received the federal money from the National Institutes of Justice for the mass spectrometer project. The device is about the size of a desktop printer and can analyze substances for certain chemicals. Associate chemistry professor Christopher Mulligan says it saves time and money transporting evidence to a lab for testing.

Mulligan says the next stage of development is to see if the device “can provide evidence that goes straight to the court system.” He says another goal is to make the device easy enough for police to use in the field.

Researchers hope it will be ready for use within five years.