New York State DNA legislation (Article 49b – NYS Executive Law) was signed to law in 1994 and then expanded in 2000, 2004, 2006 and more recently spring 2012 increasing designated offenses from serious felonies to all felonies and misdemeanors. Thus, the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center has experienced over the past decade an increase in the number of DNA samples it is required to analyze and include in the DNA Identification Index, creating demand for trained personnel. This situation has become common to Crime Laboratories nationwide. The New York State Commission on Forensic Science has established minimum standards and a program of accreditation for forensic laboratories in New York State in order to guarantee the integrity of test results. In addition to implementing certain operational protocols and procedures, the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center, along with the other accredited forensic laboratories statewide, must ensure that their DNA examiners meet the Commission's minimum education and work experience requirements.
Consequently, in 2002 the University at Albany (UA) and the New York State Police (NYSP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development of forensic science academic and research programs. In 2002, the UA and NYSP developed Graduate Programs in Forensic Biology and Forensic Chemistry. This collaboration exists today through expert instruction from NYSP personnel and internship/research opportunities for SUNY-Albany’s M.S in Forensic Biology and B.S./M.S. in Forensic Chemistry programs.