FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 8, 2012) — The Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory System has achieved a historic milestone by completing an internationally renowned accreditation process which assesses the quality of lab operations and scientific procedures.
The labs, which are located in Frankfort, Madisonville, Louisville, Cold Spring, Ashland and London, have met the rigorous forensic lab standards of ISO 17025, in conjunction with the American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) International Accreditation Program for Forensic Laboratories. ISO is the world’s developer and publisher of International Standards. It is a network of National Standards Institutes of 160 countries with a central office in Geneva, Switzerland.
The significance of this recognition is vital in that it provides a means by which the public and the Kentucky Criminal Justice System can be further assured of the quality of the state police forensic laboratories’ operations and scientific procedures.
In order to be accredited, the six laboratories were inspected in June of 2011. The policies, procedures, work product and personnel were assessed by 22 trained inspectors from around the country.
“They reviewed every aspect of our operations,” said Laura Sudkamp, director of the KSP Central Lab in Frankfort, who played a guiding role in the process. “At each location, they poured through our lab reports and viewed on-site documentation and processes. They interviewed lab staff looking for an understanding of the standards and checking for compliance. They reviewed lab report wording, data documentation, analytical processes, training and education and qualifications of each staff member.”
While not mandatory, the ASCLD/LAB accreditation process allows a laboratory to demonstrate that its management, personnel, operational and technical procedures, equipment and physical facilities meet established, independent, third-party standards. Accreditation is one facet of the KSP Forensic Laboratory System’s quality assurance program, which also includes proficiency testing, continuing education and other programs to help KSP labs provide better overall service to the criminal justice system.
The six laboratories, comprised of 128 employees, provide forensic services at no charge to federal agencies and all local agencies in the Commonwealth. Those services include tests for breath alcohol; blood alcohol/toxicology; firearm and toolmark comparisons; identification of controlled substances; trace chemistry; forensic biology/DNA and maintenance of the state DNA database. Approximately 50,000 cases are handled each year by the labs.
“To achieve accreditation on the first try is an outstanding success,” said KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer, “but to do so in such an exemplary manner is a true testament to the high degree of preparation and understanding of the stringent requirements of the accreditation process by lab employees. This feat could not have been accomplished had it not been for the dedication and hard work of all our lab employees.”
Twenty-two lab employees were recognized with Certificates of Excellence for their contributions to the accreditation process:
David Hack – Laboratory Director, Western Laboratory Branch
Terry Comstock – Laboratory Director, Jefferson Laboratory Branch
Jeanna Oxenham – Laboratory Director, Northern Laboratory Branch
Larry Boggs – Laboratory Director, Eastern Laboratory Branch
Beverly Wagoner – Laboratory Director, Southeastern Laboratory Branch
Ken Rider – Forensic Lab Supervisor (Central – Trace Section)
Stacy Warnecke – Forensic Lab Supervisor (DNA Database Section)
Whitney Collins – Forensic Lab Supervisor (DNA Casework Section)
Ryan Johnson – Forensic Lab Supervisor (Central – Toxicology Section)
Marci Adkins – Serology Technical Leader
Dr. Margaret Sanger – DNA Technical Leader
Misty Holbrook – Bloodstain Pattern Technical Leader
Amy Dorsey – GSR and Arson Technical Leader
Lara Mosenthin – Hair and Fibers Technical Leader
Jack Reid – Paint and General Trace Technical Leader
Julie Ferguson – Toxicology Technical Leader
Stuart Mullins – Breath Alcohol Instruments Technical Leader
Deena Fletcher – Breath Alcohol Calibration Technical Leader
Laura Sudkamp – Laboratory Director, Central Laboratory Branch
Katrina Featherston-Quality Assurance Supervisor
Jeremy Triplett-Supervisor, Central Laboratory Branch Drug Section
Matthew Clements-Supervisor, Central Laboratory Branch Firearm/Toolmark Section.