Becomes the first stand-alone crime scene unit in the U. S. to be accredited
Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent proudly announced today that the ISP Crime Scene Services Command (CSSC) has become the first stand-alone crime scene unit in the U.S. to receive accreditation from Forensic Quality Services – International (FQS-I). The accreditation was attained by complying with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. The FQS-I is the country’s oldest established provider of ISO accreditation to forensic testing agencies in the Nation. “This accreditation reflects the talent and commitment of Illinois State Police crime scene personnel, both past and present,” said Director Trent. “Being recognized as the first stand-alone crime scene unit to receive ISO accreditation is a significant accomplishment, and I am immensely proud of those whose perseverance made it possible to achieve this illustrious distinction.”
The CSSC began the arduous task of accreditation more than a year ago – a process that included a review of policies, procedures, training material, and quality assurance documents. Accreditation means that an agency’s policies conform to a rigorous set of standards, and the agency can prove its procedures conform to those policies. Police agencies, State’s Attorneys, jurors, and crime victims alike can count on ISP Crime Scene Investigators to process evidence in a manner consistent with carefully developed, internationally-vetted criteria. This means those who rely upon ISP Crime Scene Services are assured of a response that withstands scrutiny where it counts most – in court.
FQS-I Manager of Accreditations, Ms. Patricia Wojtowicz, stated, “The quality of crime scene processing activities is one of the most critical components in obtaining reliable scientific analysis of evidence. The ISP is to be commended for recognizing the importance of using international best practice as the basis for its policies, procedures, and practices. The ISP CSSC is a pioneer in the accreditation of stand-alone crime scene units and has now raised the bar for other crime scene processing practitioners in the U.S.”
There are 61 CSSC employees assigned to offices throughout the state. In addition to crime scene processing, CSSC personnel perform a variety of tasks such as photographic imaging, two-dimensional and three-dimensional diagrams, and animations of crash and crime scenes. There are also specialty functions within the unique field of crime scene processing, such as bloodstain pattern interpretation, forensic art, and facial reconstruction.
Concluded Trent, “From death investigations to burglaries, our adherence to the procedures and protocols required for accreditation ensure that the agencies who seek our assistance receive the highest quality services to help them solve crimes, aid victims, and successfully prosecute cases in court.”