Saturday, Dec. 3


Illinois State Police lab system accreditation recognized          Send a link to a friend

Department increases forensic scientist trainees

[DEC. 3, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent announced Tuesday that the Illinois State Police lab system has received accreditation from Forensic Quality Services-International for compliance with the standards of the International Organization for Standardization. Bill Tillstone, executive director of Forensic Quality Services-International, attended a ceremony at the Illinois State Police Academy and made the presentation.

"This accreditation attests to the positive strides we're making in Illinois to provide law enforcement, the judicial system and the general public with forensic services that meet the highest of standards," Trent said. "Due to the quality analytical work performed, ISP Forensic Services Command are continually recognized as leaders in the field of forensic sciences."

The standards assessed by Forensic Quality Services-International were established by the International Organization for Standardization to ensure that vital features such as quality, safety, reliability, compatibility, efficiency and effectiveness are met.

Forensic Quality Services-International is the country's longest established provider of International Organization for Standardization accreditation to forensic science laboratories in the U.S. It is also one of the accrediting bodies recognized by the National DNA Index System Procedures Board and the only one that has successfully completed the rigorous scrutiny of operations required by the National Cooperation of Laboratory Accreditation.

The Illinois State Police Forensic Command is the largest laboratory system in the United States to receive this accreditation. In addition, the Illinois State Police was the first laboratory system to be accredited in the United States and worldwide in 1982 by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board and has been reaccredited every five years, with the most recent occurring in 2002.

The Illinois State Police director also announced that 17 forensic scientist trainees have recently joined the agency's forensic science laboratories. The new personnel are part of Gov. Blagojevich's continuing effort to increase the number of forensic scientists employed to analyze the advanced technological caseload.

"One of the main goals of the ISP has always been to provide the best-quality service and most expeditious analyses possible," Trent said. "Law enforcement has taken a keen interest in DNA technology and its use in solving crimes. The addition of these new scientists helps to ensure that our lab system is able to meet the ever-growing demands for forensic analysis."

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The new scientists began on Oct 3 with a week of orientation and then reported to their respective training facilities. Forensic scientist trainees receive comprehensive instruction in the use of the most advanced science technology and procedures for analyzing evidence. The length of training programs varies with the forensic disciplines and can continue for another one to two years.

The trainees will be assigned to laboratories in Chicago, Joliet, Springfield and Carbondale and specialize in the following forensic disciplines:
(Discipline, number of trainees)

  • Biology-DNA, 7
  • Latent prints, 4
  • Drug chemistry, 3
  • Trace evidence, 2
  • Forensic toxicology, 1

As forensic scientist trainees, the individuals will:

  • Receive work assignments designed to develop knowledge, understanding and technical skills related to one of the specialty areas.
  • Receive instruction and demonstrate proficiency in the various examinations, techniques and instrumentation used in the assigned specialty area.
  • Observe courtroom procedures and courtroom demeanor.
  • Participate in mock trials.

Upon completion of the required training, the forensic scientist trainees will be certified by the Illinois State Police lab system, one of the most respected lab systems in the world.

"I'd like to congratulate all the personnel in the Forensics Science Command for their hard work in obtaining the ISO accreditation and extend a sincere welcome to the new personnel who recently joined the ISP," Trent said.

The Illinois State Police currently has nine forensic laboratories, located in Carbondale, Chicago, Joliet, Metro East, Morton, Rockford, Springfield and Westchester.

[Illinois State Police District 9 news release]

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