EUGENE, Ore. – It was high honors for a unit of the Eugene Police Department at Monday night’s city council meeting.
Since 1959, EPD’s Forensics Evidence Unit has processed tens of thousands of cases; but in April, it became the first state forensics lab to achieve accreditation.
The accreditation came after 8 years of staff work and meeting over 400 requirements set out by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
The lab handles over a hundred cases a month, everything from simple fingerprint screening to advanced crime scene reconstruction. Its four technicians also test firearms, conduct blood testing and analyze surveillance video, one of the field’s fastest growing disciplines.
The lab officially received its ceremonial award at Harris Hall, the only local agency in Oregon to do so.
“We’re really excited about this opportunity and it provides for us some kind of comfort in the fact that we know we’re attaining that standard and that now in the courtroom we can say that we’re attaining that standard and that we’ve met those requirements,” Jason Peterson, Forensics Evidence Unit Supervisor.
There were some costs involved in training and new hires, which was covered by a $40,000 Department of Justice grant in 2011.