State Police Crime Labs Retain National AccreditationContact: Capt. Michael Thomas, Director, MSP Forensic Science Division, (517) 322-6150Agency: State Police, Department of
December 3, 2002
East Lansing - The Michigan State Police announced today that all seven of the Forensic Science Division's statewide laboratories have retained accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).
According to Capt. Michael Thomas, Commanding Officer of the MSP Forensic Science Division, "This is considered the gold-standard in the Forensic Science community around the country. What it means to the average person is that if I were a criminal, and I was looking for somewhere to commit a crime, I would want it to be in a state that did not have a crime lab with this designation." Thomas went on to say, "A criminal's chances of getting caught increase significantly in states where this standard of excellence exists in their crime lab facility."
The ASCLD/LAB is an international forensic laboratory accrediting body that began in 1981. The first accreditation application was received from the Illinois State Police in 1982. MSP laboratories first received accreditation in September 1984. The objectives of the accreditation board include:
- Improving the quality of laboratory services provided to the criminal justice system.
- Developing and maintaining criteria which can be used by a laboratory to assess its level of performance and to strengthen its operation.
- Providing an independent, impartial, and objective system by which laboratories can benefit from a total operational review.
- Offering to the general public and to users of laboratory services, a means of identifying those laboratories that meet established standards.
An on-site inspection team of fifteen trained inspectors from around the country descended on Michigan in March 2002 and spent one week inspecting the seven MSP laboratories. The inspection report was submitted to the LAB on October 26, 2002, and approved.
The MSP Forensic Science Division provides crime lab services to state, county, and local agencies statewide at no cost to local communities. Those services include:
- Bomb Squad and Crime Scene Response Team
- Drug Analysis, Firearms, and Toolmark Identification
- DNA analysis
- Latent Prints and polygraph analysis
- Biology (Analysis of evidence for blood, semen, saliva, urine, and other matter)
- Trace/Arson (micro-chemical analysis of materials such as paints, glass, fibers, fire debris, and explosive residue)
- Integrated Information Sharing Networks (including Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS), and Combined DNA Index System (CODIS))
The MSP maintains seven forensic laboratories in Michigan located in Bridgeport, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Grayling, Marquette, Northville, and Sterling Heights. MSP laboratories account for seven of the 238 laboratories worldwide that currently have the ASCLD/LAB accreditation.
For further information contact:
Capt. Michael Thomas, Director, MSP Forensic Science Division, (517) 322-6150
(Pictured below is the MSP Forensic Science Division Headquarters and Lansing Laboratory)