Hobbs Forensic Lab Secures Coveted Accreditation

From left, Forensic Chemist Martin Brady, Lab Quality Assurance/Operations Manager Abi Chidambaram, Technician Catherine Gallegos, Lab Manager Edard Love, Ralph Keaton and Noreen Purcell. Courtesy/NMDPS

NMDPS News:

HOBBS – In a ceremony April 9, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Hobbs Forensic Laboratory was acknowledged for its technical competence and accredited in the disciplines of drug chemistry, firearms, toolmarks and serial number restorations by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors / Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

“The accreditation process provides an essential, external, independent review of forensic services DPS provides. We are proud that all three of our laboratories have attained this esteemed level of certification,” DPS Secretary Gregory Fouratt said. “The citizens of New Mexico, law enforcement and the judicial system can be confident in the scientific reliability and professional work product of the DPS laboratory system.”

The Hobbs Lab at 111 N. Turner was established Feb. 16, 2009, to provide controlled substance analysis to the southeastern regions of New Mexico. In 2014, the lab also developed the capability to perform forensic evaluations on firearms. The lab submitted to an independent technical evaluation in October 2014, which inspected all aspects of the facility’s operations related to consistently producing accurate and dependable data, said Fouratt.

The evaluation criteria comes from the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) standards called ISO/IEC 17025, which are used for evaluating laboratories throughout the world.

Laboratory accreditation bodies use these standards specifically to assess the laboratory’s technical competence, including:

  • technical competence of staff;
  • validity and appropriateness of test methods;
  • traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards;
  • suitability,
  • calibration and maintenance of test equipment;
  • testing environment; sampling,
  • handling and transportation of test items; and
  • quality assurance of test and calibration data.

Laboratory accreditation is highly regarded, nationally and internationally, as a reliable indicator of technical competence, Fouratt said. The certification provides benchmarks the laboratory personnel utilize to confirm they are performing their work correctly and to appropriate standards. The Hobbs Forensic Lab accreditation is valid through Dec. 7, 2018.

Since it opened, the Hobbs Lab has handled more than 4,187 cases including drug chemistry cases firearms cases.

The DPS Santa Fe Forensic Laboratory and Las Cruces Forensic Laboratory have consistently maintained accreditation by ASCLD/LAB, their current accreditation is valid through 2018 and 2017, respectively.

In addition, the Santa Fe Forensic Laboratory’s DNA Section has maintained certification through the FBI since 1993, which requires successful completion of an external audit every other year by the FBI and every five years by ASCLD/LAB.

NMDPS News:

HOBBS – In a ceremony April 9, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Hobbs Forensic Laboratory has been acknowledged for its technical competence and accredited in the disciplines of drug chemistry, firearms, toolmarks and serial number restorations by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors / Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

“The accreditation process provides an essential, external, independent review of forensic services DPS provides. We are proud that all three of our laboratories have attained this esteemed level of certification,” DPS Secretary Gregory Fouratt said. “The citizens of New Mexico, law enforcement and the judicial system can be confident in the scientific reliability and professional work product of the DPS laboratory system.”

The Hobbs Lab at 111 N. Turner was established Feb. 16, 2009, to provide controlled substance analysis to the southeastern regions of New Mexico. In 2014, the lab also developed the capability to perform forensic evaluations on firearms. The lab submitted to an independent technical evaluation in October 2014, which inspected all aspects of the facility’s operations related to consistently producing accurate and dependable data, said Fouratt.

The evaluation criteria comes from the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) standards called ISO/IEC 17025, which are used for evaluating laboratories throughout the world.

Laboratory accreditation bodies use these standards specifically to assess the laboratory’s technical competence, including:

  • technical competence of staff;
  • validity and appropriateness of test methods;
  • traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards;
  • suitability,
  • calibration and maintenance of test equipment;
  • testing environment; sampling,
  • handling and transportation of test items; and
  • quality assurance of test and calibration data.

Laboratory accreditation is highly regarded, nationally and internationally, as a reliable indicator of technical competence, Fouratt said. The certification provides benchmarks the laboratory personnel utilize to confirm they are performing their work correctly and to appropriate standards. The Hobbs Forensic Lab accreditation is valid through Dec. 7, 2018.

Since it opened, the Hobbs Lab has handled more than 4,187 cases including drug chemistry cases firearms cases.

The DPS Santa Fe Forensic Laboratory and Las Cruces Forensic Laboratory have consistently maintained accreditation by ASCLD/LAB, their current accreditation is valid through 2018 and 2017, respectively.

In addition, the Santa Fe Forensic Laboratory’s DNA Section has maintained certification through the FBI since 1993, which requires successful completion of an external audit every other year by the FBI and every five years by ASCLD/LAB.

CSTsiteisloaded