Berks County District Attorney’s Forensic Services Crime Laboratory has met the
standards for international accreditation in the field of forensic inspection
from the American National Standards Institute – American Society for Quality
National Accreditation Board (ANSI-ASQ). The scope of the accreditation included the
forensic disciplines of crime scene analysis, computer forensics, and latent
fingerprint processing and comparison.
There are over 15,000 forensic
laboratories or police science units in the United States and very few are
accredited to International requirements.
The Berks County District Attorney’s FSU is one of only three law
enforcement laboratories (Philadelphia Police Department and PA State Police)
in the Commonwealth of PA that has been awarded such a prestigious
In July of 2015, the FSU members led by
Sergeant Robert Johnson started their climb towards International Organization
Standards (ISO) of accreditation. They
spent months of preparing, rewriting policies, establishing updated procedures,
and implementing annual proficiency testing. During this demanding process they
continued to balance the everyday functions of a fulltime forensic lab.
On October 18th through the 20th
of 2016, an on-site assessor review was conducted by an ANSI-ASQ accreditation
team of inspectors. This final part of
the accreditation process consisted of a review of the unit’s policies and
procedures, and the examination of all of the areas of the laboratory where the
FSU members operate. They inspected the
equipment and interviewed all of the FSU staff members. They reviewed case logs, reports, several
major cases, training records, personnel files and equipment manuals. Each FSU member was asked a series of
questions to demonstrate proficiency in the field, as well as to demonstrate
their ability to use assigned equipment.
“By achieving accreditation, our forensic
team is now recognized internationally for its integrity, reliability and
technical competence. Additionally, they will better serve our constituents and
strengthen the confidence of judicial authorities. This is an outstanding achievement.”