Thursday, September 19, 2013

Idaho State Police Forensic Services Achieves Second International Accreditation

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

Teresa Baker
Public Information Officer
Headquarters 700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian 83642
(208) 884-7122
Fax (208) 884-7087

For Immediate Release: 09/19/13 at 2:00 p.m.

MERIDIAN - The Idaho State Police is pleased to report that its three Forensic Services (ISPFS) laboratories were recently reaccredited for another 5-year period by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) under the prestigious ISO 17025:2005 international accreditation for forensic crime laboratories. ISPFS has been accredited by ASCLD/LAB since 1987 and obtained the prestigious ISO 17025:2005 accreditation in 2007. ISPFS laboratories were among the first in the United States to obtain ISO accreditation, and continue as leaders in forensic science excellence.

"I'm proud of the quality of work our labs are able to provide to every city and county in Idaho. The work provided by our forensic science professionals is critical in solving crimes and ensuring justice for victims and the accused," says Colonel Ralph Powell, Director of the Idaho State Police. He explains, "ISP Forensic Services believes accreditation is important for ensuring continual laboratory improvement, quality forensic science casework, and reliable laboratory test results. The continuous monitoring of the quality of operations in the laboratories through annual audits, reviews of our management system, customer service feedback, and intensive quality control of forensic casework is vital to the criminal justice system in Idaho, and we are pleased to provide it."

The three laboratories of ISP Forensic Services are located in Meridian, Coeur d'Alene and Pocatello. The lab services are grouped into disciplines. The Meridian Lab specializes in controlled substances, DNA, biology, DNA database, blood alcohol, latent fingerprints, and footwear and tire impressions. The Coeur d'Alene Lab specializes in controlled substances, firearms and toolmarks, fire debris evidence, blood alcohol, and toxicology. The Pocatello Lab specializes in controlled substances, blood alcohol, and toxicology.

The accreditation process includes an assessment by the accrediting body each year of accreditation. Once every five years ASCLD/LAB requires a reaccreditation application, an administrative conformance evaluation, an extensive off and on-site laboratory assessment/audit, and demonstration of strict adherence to all international standards for forensic laboratories. The full accreditation assessment includes a review of laboratory compliance to over five-hundred required criteria. The thorough process for reaccreditation took ISPFS sixteen months to complete. Trained ASCLD/LAB technical expert assessors from all over the United States evaluated all aspects of ISPFS laboratory management and operations. In addition to an exhaustive document review, ASCLD/LAB technical assessors spent a week in Idaho auditing the physical laboratory space. The assessment review included management structure and communication, quality management and quality control, analytical methods, documentation practices, reporting procedures, and customer service. Assessors complimented ISPFS on the quality of the organization, the professionalism of the employees, and the excellence of the work product.

For more information about Idaho State Police Forensic Services, its accreditation, and the services provided to state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies and state and federal courts, please visit our website at