TPD crime unit earns international accredation
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Tucson Police Department’s Crime Scene Unit has earned an international accreditation in Forensic Inspection (ISO/IEC 17020:2012). This prestigious accreditation, granted by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), signifies compliance with over 150 rigorous requirements.
The accreditation process involved a comprehensive evaluation of the unit’s management practices, personnel qualifications, technical procedures, and quality assurance program. This recognition underscores the critical role of forensic work in law enforcement investigations and its importance in upholding the integrity of the criminal justice system.
Over nearly two years of dedicated preparation, the unit updated procedures, revised policies, and implemented annual proficiency testing to meet accreditation standards. In early August, an A2LA assessor conducted an on-site assessment, inspecting equipment, interviewing Crime Scene Specialists, and observing their work at crime scenes. The assessor reviewed case logs, reports, training records, personnel files, and equipment manuals.
Achieving this accreditation positions TPD’s Crime Scene Unit as an internationally recognized entity known for its integrity, reliability, and technical competence. Notably, it is the only accredited crime scene unit in Southern Arizona and the only accredited forensic inspection body in the state of Arizona.
Key Benefits of ISO 17020 Accreditation for Crime Scene Investigators:
Standardization: accreditation provides a standardized framework for crime scene investigators (CSIs) to follow, ensuring consistent procedures, methodologies, and documentation. This promotes uniformity and reliability in forensic investigations.
Enhanced Competence: The accreditation requires CSIs to undergo rigorous training and professional development, ensuring they possess the necessary skills and expertise to carry out their duties effectively. This leads to higher levels of competence among investigators.
Quality Assurance: ISO 17020 accreditation emphasizes the establishment of quality control measures, protocols, and risk management processes. This ensures that investigations are conducted with the utmost accuracy and precision, reducing the likelihood of errors and improving the overall quality of evidence.
Credibility and Trust: Adhering to ISO 17020 guidelines enhances the credibility and trustworthiness of crime scene investigations. The standard emphasizes impartiality, objectivity, and confidentiality, instilling confidence in the investigative process and the evidence collected.
International Recognition: ISO 17020 is globally recognized, facilitating collaboration and information exchange among forensic experts from different jurisdictions. This allows CSIs to work collaboratively, share knowledge and learn from best practices on an international scale. International Recognition: Facilitates global collaboration, knowledge sharing, and best practices exchange among forensic experts from various jurisdictions.
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