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Crime lab’s new toxicology supervisor brings experience and passion to her new role



A thirteen-year veteran of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division has been promoted to Supervising Criminalist of Toxicology. Karyl Brown, who worked on the County Crime Lab’s first toxicology case in May of 1999, will now oversee the lab’s toxicology services.

“Karyl brings experience, vision and passionate dedication to her new role,” Forensic Science Division Director Renee Romero said. “She has already shown a keen ability to see the bigger picture in her decision making.”

Brown helped to set up the Toxicology Section when the Sheriff’s Forensic Science Division was first formed in 1999. The Toxicology Section analyzes samples of body fluids to determine the presence, and amount, of drugs, alcohol or poisons.

“What I like most about coming to work every day is the realization that we are providing a unique and valuable service to the community,” Brown said. “Our analysis establishes facts that will help to prosecute the guilty and to protect the innocent.”

After 10 years of service as a Toxicologist, she spent the past two years as the Forensic Science Division’s Quality Assurance Manager.

Brown said her experience as Quality Assurance Manager will play a valuable part in her new role because it gave her the opportunity to work closely with all areas of the Forensic Science Division while honing her quality control skills.

“We adhere to a rigorous system of strict procedures, policies, criteria, and checks and balances,” Brown said. “And it’s all worth it when you consider that the public safety efforts of 14 Nevada counties rely on our ability to provide accurate information.”

Brown received her Medical Technology Degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. She worked for Washoe Medical Center and the toxicology section of Laboratory Corporation of America before joining the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division when toxicology was added in 1999.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division is a full-service forensic laboratory providing services to over 80 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in 14 Nevada counties. The Division provides investigative support with a full service crime scene unit and scientific disciplines such as DNA, Toxicology, Breath Alcohol, Controlled Substances, Firearms and limited trace evidence analysis.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.

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