Forensic Science: General FAQs
Q. Is the New York Start Police Forensic Science Laboratory accredited?
Yes. The NYSP Forensic Laboratory System is mandated by the Executive Law to be accredited every five (5) years by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). Additionally, the laboratory system undergoes a full inspection in the middle of each 5-year cycle. ASCLD/LAB has recently adopted the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17025 accreditation standards, for the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The additional ISO accreditation standards signify the laboratory’s commitment to the highest quality forensic service.
Q. How many laboratories are in the Forensic Laboratory System and where are they located?
The Headquarters Laboratory is located within the Forensic Investigation Center in Albany, NY. The three (3) regional laboratories are strategically located in Newburgh (Orange County), Port Crane (Broome County) and Olean (Cattaraugus County).
Q. How many cases does the Laboratory System process annually?
In 2006, the laboratory system analyzed 11,558 cases out of the 16,100 that were submitted into the system. Additionally, 74,004 cases were processed for the DNA Databank. 27,812 COBIS (Combined Ballistic Imaging System) cases were submitted and 6,007 COBIS test fires were completed.
Q. What is the impact of forensic science on courtroom testimony?
The results of forensic analysis can be irrefutable; therefore its impact on courtroom testimony is significant. Examples include: Matching the DNA pattern of a blood sample to the DNA pattern of a suspect’s blood (or matching it to a convicted offender), matching hair fibers found at a crime scene to those from a suspect, and the expert testimony of a drug chemist to a previously unknown substance..
Q. Does the New York State Laboratory system work with any national organizations?
Yes. The Laboratory has collaborated with a number of organizations including the:
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms
- American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences
- American Board of Forensic Toxicology
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- DNA Advisory Board
- American Board of Criminalistics
- Northeast Regional Forensic Institute
- American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/ Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)
Q. When are tours of the Forensic Investigation Center conducted?
Tours are not being offered at this time.