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Montana State Crime Lab recognized as a top-performing forensic laboratory

HELENA – For the second year in a row, the Montana Department of Justice’s Forensic Science Division (FSD) has been recognized as a top-performing forensic laboratory, earning the FORESIGHT Maximus Award from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD).

Commonly referred to as the State Crime Lab, FSD houses the state’s forensic science laboratories and medical examiner system. It is one of just 13 forensic laboratories in the world to earn the award for operating at 90% or better of peak efficiency based on Foresight business metrics.

“The state crime lab provides invaluable forensic analysis to law enforcement across Montana. Their work is integral to investigating crimes, finding those responsible, and holding them accountable,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “With crime rising and illegal drugs continuing to flow into our state, that work is more important than ever. ”

“These top performing laboratories are an inspiration for other forensic laboratories to evaluate their own labs and seek ways to improve efficiency and productivity without compromising quality and accountability. The award winners set the benchmarks we should all strive to achieve in days of lean budgets and increasing caseloads,” ASCLD President Laura Sudkamp said in a press release.

The Forensic Science Division is integral to the Department of Justice’s mission to fight crime in Montana and get dangerous criminals off the streets. The division provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analysis in support of the criminal justice community across the state. The State Crime Lab houses the medical examiner, toxicology, chemical analysis, firearms/toolmarks, latent prints, DNA/serology, quality assurance, and evidence sections.

The lab has been accredited since 2005 and the medical examiners office became accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners last year.