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FQS Accredits Baltimore Police Department Crime Lab

Above: Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts speaks to the department and guests.

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board/FQS has accredited the Baltimore (MD) City Police Department to two international standards. The Laboratory Section is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, the standard for laboratory accreditation, and the Mobile Unit is accredited to ISO/IEC 17020, the standard for inspection bodies.

"I want us to be the leaders. I want us to set the tone for excellence," Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said at an April 29 event acknowledging the accreditation before the department. ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board Vice President Keith Greenaway was at the event to present framed accreditation certificates to the department.

The Department's Mobile Unit is the first police agency in Maryland to achieve ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation for inspection, and one of only 12 police agencies in the United States to have achieved ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation.

"This is the top level of accreditations inside crime labs," Steven O'Dell Jr., Deputy Director and Quality Assurance Manager, said. "The community can rest assured that they are getting the best forensic police work out of the department that's possible."

Baltimore's Police Department is the eighth largest in the United States. The Baltimore City crime lab has nine separate testing labs, each with a special area of expertise. Evidence for more than 20,000 cases is tested in the crime lab annually.

Accreditation by FQS is based on a rigorous review of the organization's quality manual, procedures, and other relevant documentation, and an on-site assessment to determine conformance with the requirements of the standards. After accreditation is attained, the organization undergoes annual reassessments to ensure continued conformance.

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