Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

President-Elect - Election 2017


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David Gouldthorpe 
Chemistry Detail Lab Manager

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


In 2008, I was hired by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a Forensic Scientist in the Controlled Substances Unit. I have since promoted to the Chemistry Detail Lab Manager, overseeing the Controlled Substances and Trace Evidence Units as well as the Clandestine Laboratory Response Team. Prior to working at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, I spent four and a half years as a Criminalist with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona where I was assigned to the Controlled Substances Unit, Clandestine Laboratory Response Team, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Hazardous Response Team.

I became a member of SWAFS in 2009. I have served on the SWAFS Website Committee for several years and am currently a Board member. I am also currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Seized Drugs Subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).

SWAFS was formed 40 years ago with the intent to provide a forum in which forensic scientists could exchange information in order to advance the field, encourage and support research in forensic science, and to stay apprised of the latest techniques and discoveries in forensic science. I would like to help this association promote those principles and encourage members to become more involved no matter their level of experience so that we as an organization can continue to be leaders in the field of forensic science. I ask for your vote to be the next President-Elect of the Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists.


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Azell Carter
Compliance Examiner / Evidence Control Unit Supervisor

City of Pasedena


Azell Carter has been employed in the field of Forensic Science since January 2008. He began his career with the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory as a Criminalist in the Drug Chemistry discipline, and in March of 2012 he became the Quality Assurance Manager/Sr. Forensic Chemist for the Pasadena Police Department Regional Crime Laboratory. While at Pasadena Azell developed measurement uncertainty budgets for drug chemistry and toxicology, led the laboratory efforts in achieving ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, and authored the City of Pasadena synthetic cannabinoid and hallucinogenic ordinance. In addition, Azell was a technical writer for Senate Bill 173 (84R). This bill addresses the control status and emergence of synthetic cannabinoids in Texas, and became Texas law September 1, 2015. Azell’s membership affiliations are with the Association of Forensic Quality Assurance managers (AFQAM), American Society of Quality (ASQ), Clandestine Laboratory of Investigating Chemists (CLIC), and Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientist (SWAFS).

Azell received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Texas State University in May 2006, and a Masters of Science in Pharmacy with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Florida in May 2011. When the Pasadena Police Department Crime Laboratory closed in October 2015, Mr. Carter became the Property and Evidence Supervisor for the Pasadena Police Department and Compliance Examiner for the City of Pasadena. In this position, he has authored and revised several City of Pasadena policy and procedures, taken a forensic science approach to procedurally streamlined the Property and Evidence Unit for efficiency, and is assisting in transitioning the Police Department from the use of chemical filed testing to electronic field testing using Raman Spectroscopy Technology.

Azell has been a member of SWAFS since 2012 and become a member of the Board of Directors in 2015. While severing as a board member, he has helped in planning the 2016 and 2017 SWAFS conferences. Networking within the organization has given him the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about other forensic disciplines. The members of this organization freely share information and are great examples of professionalism. Azell is truly honored to be nominated for President Elect, and if elected, will do his best to display the professional integrity that permeates throughout the SWAFS organization while continuing to uphold the standards of excellence set forth by the previous SWAFS Presidents.