For release on April 23, 2012 CONTACT PERSON:
Ian Fitch, Santa Clara County Crime Laboratory Director
(408) 808-6999 SANTA CLARA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S CRIME LABORATORY IS GRANTED ASCLD/LAB-INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION
After a highly stringent evaluation, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Crime Laboratory was recently granted one of the nation’s highest accreditations.
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) awarded its “International” status after the 60-person lab went through a two-year upgrade. Guided by Laboratory Director Dr. Ian Fitch, the county lab revamped its quality guidelines to meet internationally-recognized standards of quality assurance, customer service and continuous improvement.
“The Santa Clara County Crime Lab reflects the excellence and innovation that makes Silicon Valley the home of the most advanced, influential hi-tech companies in the world,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.
The world’s oldest and most established crime laboratory accrediting body, ASCLD/LAB is one of only two crime laboratory accrediting bodies in the United States recognized by the FBI. The Bureau requires that law enforcement crime laboratories become accredited in order to participate in the national forensic DNA database.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Crime Laboratory has been accredited by ASCLD/LAB since 1996. The ASCLD/LAB phased out its previous accreditation program, replacing it with the International program in 2009. As of March, 2012, 200 of 389 crime laboratories were accredited under the International program.
Each year the Santa Clara County lab handles about 1,600 major cases (homicide, sexual assault, etc) and 15,000 toxicology and controlled substance cases. It is the only crime lab in California with an accredited digital multi-media evidence unit.