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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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State Police Lab System Accreditation Recognized at Academy Ceremony

Press Release Date: November 28, 2005    || Archived February 16, 2006

Additionally, ISP increase personnel in Lab System

New scientist trainees added to ensure quality and expediency

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent today proudly announced the ISP lab system has received accreditation from Forensic Quality Services - International for compliance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. FQS-I Executive Director Bill Tillstone attended the ceremony, which was held at the ISP 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,” said Director Trent. “Due to the quality analytical work performed, ISP Forensic Services Command are continually recognized as leaders in the field of forensic sciences.”

FQS-I is the country’s longest established provider of ISO accreditation to forensic science laboratories in the U.S. It is also one of the accrediting bodies recognized by the NDIS Procedures Board and the only one that has successfully completed the rigorous scrutiny of operations required by the National Cooperation of Laboratory Accreditation. The standards assessed by FQS-I were established by the ISO to ensure vital features such as quality, safety, reliability, compatibility, efficiency and effectiveness are met. The ISP 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 (ASCLD/LAB) and has been re-accredited every five years with the most recent occurring in 2002.

Director Trent also announced that 17 Forensic Scientist Trainees (FSTs) have recently joined the Agency’s Forensic Science laboratories. The new personnel are part of Governor 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,” said Director Trent. “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.” The new scientists began on October 3, 2005, with a week of orientation. Upon completion, they 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 vary with the forensic disciplines and can continue for another one to two years.

The FSTs will be assigned to laboratories in Chicago, Joliet, Springfield, and Carbondale and specialize in the following forensic disciplines:

Discipline # 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; and,
  • participate in mock trials.

Upon completion of the required training, the Forensic Scientist Trainees will be certified by the ISP 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," stated Director Trent.

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

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