Montana Crime Lab Receives International Accreditation
MISSOULA – Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock announced Wednesday that the State Crime Lab has gained international accreditation through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Lab Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). Bullock made the announcement at the Lab, while standing alongside state and national forensic science and law enforcement officials.
“Montana’s crime lab is well-regarded throughout our state and across the country and today’s historic announcement is a testament to the talented and dedicated staff we have in Missoula,” Bullock said.
The state’s crime lab provides scientific and technical support to Montana’s criminal justice community. As Attorney General, Bullock oversees the Lab.
Montana’s lab first earned national accreditation in 2005. Of the nearly 400 labs throughout the world that have earned basic accreditation through ASCLD/LAB, only 145 have gained international accreditation, Dave McAlpin, Administrator of the Crime Lab said.
“The staff of the Montana Crime Lab are committed to public service and their hard work over the last few years to earn this re-accreditation was worth it,” McAlpin said. “Our criminal justice system relies on high standards and excellent service – this accreditation, from national experts in forensics, attests to that.
Presentation of the accreditation was made by Donald A. Wyckoff, business manager for ASCLD/LAB. Wyckoff is the retired lab director of the Idaho State Police Crime Lab in Pocatello.
The Forensic Science Division, which includes the State Crime Lab and the office of the State Medical Examiner, employs forensic scientists and pathologists who perform analysis of evidence in criminal cases in the following areas: Controlled Substances/Chemical Analysis, Toxicology/Breath Alcohol, Serology/DNA, Latent Prints/Impression Evidence, Firearms/Toolmark and Trace Evidence. The lab serves both prosecutions and defense and in 2010, processed evidence in 5,377 cases.
(More about Montana’s lab is online.)