A person suspected of possessing a narcotic can be charged with a crime only after the identity of the illicit substance
is confirmed. This confirmation is typically provided by analytical chemists in forensic laboratories and requires highly technical separation and detection methods. Unfortunately, such labs often have deep caseloads that lead to delays in testing. Handheld Raman analyzers bring the reliability and accuracy of lab analysis to first responders in the field, allowing for rapid and accurate identification of street drugs with a white powder appearance. With such tools, demand for forensic analysis can be reduced and enforcement agencies can enforce drug policies with greater safety, speed, and precision.