KC crime lab rates among best in nation


policeThe Kansas City Regional Crime Lab is not only getting new quarters with the east patrol station project, it also has new prestige.

It is one of only seven labs nationwide to get international accreditation in eight different disciplines.

The eight are: drug chemistry, toxicology, trace evidence, biology, firearms toolmarks, latent prints, crime scene and digital multimedia evidence.

Police Chief Darryl Forte announced the accomplishment on his blog last week, quoting from the Police Informant newsletter.

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors – Laboratory Accreditation Board approved the action this month.

“For a local department, it’s a very impressive achievement to earn International Accreditation in all those disciplines,” said John Neuner, executive director of the board.

The lab worked for two years to earn the international accreditations, with staffers meeting weekly on the upgrades, said Lisa Dowler, lab quality assurance manager.

“It affected how we communicate with our customers, how we order supplies, how we check our instruments, word our reports, fix issues as they arise, how we set our goals and manage the laboratory,” she said.

Neuner said of the accomplishment, “It gives greater confidence in the quality of work coming out of the laboratory.”

Since defense lawyers often nitpick crime lab findings, it also gives jurors more reason to believe that evidence.

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