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Home About Us Laboratory Services Forensic Response Hazardous Evidence Response

Hazardous Evidence Response

Hazardous Evidence Response


The Hazardous Evidence Response Team Unit (HERTU) provides support to the U.S. government’s response to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incidents and threats. HERTU also supports the investigation of terrorist or criminal use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) materials. The unit trains, equips, and manages the field HERT program. HERTU provides training, leadership, and subject matter expertise in hazardous evidence collection, as well as in the management and processing of forensic evidence in CBRN crime scenes.

The Team

HERTU is comprised of supervisory special agents and management and program analysts.

Our supervisory special agents are trained and certified in hazardous materials operations and WMD crime scene response, meet NFPA-472 standards (National Fire Protection Association Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents), and are trained in incident command systems.

The Work

  • WMD threat credibility evaluations;
  • Hazardous evidence crime scene management;
  • Domestic and international missions;
  • Liaison for local, state, national, and international law enforcement;
  • Training, management, and operational oversight of the HERTs located in FBI field offices:
    • These highly trained and equipped teams perform reconnaissance and site characterization, decontamination, crime scene documentation, CBRN evidence collection, and traditional evidence collection in hazardous environments. 
  • WMD crime scene management for render safe, national technical nuclear forensics, and related national-level missions; and
  • Advanced CBRN field forensics.