Valdosta-Lowndes Crime Lab up for accreditation

Valdosta-Lowndes Crime Lab up for accreditation
Through a combination of outsourced agencies and additional DNA scientists - the bureau has reduced the backlog by two thirds. (Source: WALB)
Becky Parker-Hall
Becky Parker-Hall

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Valdosta-Lowndes Regional Crime Lab could soon receive an historic honor.

Five assessors from the American Society of Crime Lab Directors will be inspecting the crime lab during the week of February 9th.

The assessors will determine whether the lab meets the requirements to be accredited by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors. If so, it would be the first local level crime lab in Georgia history to receive the accreditation.

The accreditation, which is voluntary, is usually only sought by state crime labs. "We want to do this to show our community that we want them to have confidence in the analysis and work product that comes out of the laboratory," said Valdosta-Lowndes Regional Crime Lab Director Becky Parker-Hall.

The crime lab was established in 2009 in order to help complete local, and in some cases federal, crime reports faster and get the reports to the necessary district attorney's offices within 21 days. Before the crime lab was established, local cases were handled through the local state crime labs but the state crime labs were becoming overwhelmed which often delayed the crime reports.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," said Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney J. David Miller, whose office is based in Valdosta. "The faster we can process cases in the system the better."

Certain procedures, such as DNA testing and autopsies, will still be handled by state crime labs.

The assessors are expected to make a decision regarding the accreditation of the Valdosta-Lowndes Regional Crime Lab within 30-90 days after the assessment is completed during the week of February 9th.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.