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The principal mission of the Division of Forensic Sciences, commonly referred to as the “Forensic Lab”, is to provide quality and timely scientific analyses of physical evidence to criminal justice entities operating in Westchester County. The laboratory also provides expert scientific testimony to the various courts in our jurisdictional area. The division's various units examine a wide array of evidentiary materials such as items tested for the presence of DNA, controlled substances, fibers, hairs, fire debris and gunshot residue. Audio, video and image analyses are also performed.

To promote these objectives, various quality assurance measures have been instituted over the years to ensure the legal system of the accuracy of the work product of the laboratory. The quality of this work is affirmed through the accreditations of the laboratory by both private and governmental accrediting bodies.

In 1991 the Westchester County Forensic Science Laboratory became the first full service forensic laboratory in the Northeast to gain accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors – Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

Additionally, in 1999, the laboratory was the fourteenth laboratory in the country to receive accreditation in Forensic Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Analysis. The laboratory also maintains accreditation with New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services with oversight by the New York State Commission on Forensic Sciences. New York State is presently one of only a few states to mandate accreditation of public forensic science laboratories.

In 2016 The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) announced a merger with ASCLD/LAB, therefore going forward all accreditation would be administrated by ANAB.

To maintain lab accreditation by ANAB and N.Y.S/Commission on Forensic Sciences the laboratory is constantly striving to ensure that the services delivered meet all the expectations of our customers all of the time. The customers include the court system, jurors, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers, crime victims, suspects, and defendants. This is done through a three-pronged approach.

  • Firstly the laboratory is subjected to periodic inspections by ANAB and internal audits every year to ensure the overall proper operation of the laboratory.
  • Secondly, individual analysts are encouraged to undertake continuing education, participate in training courses and to keep abreast of the latest developments in their fields. Laboratory staff members actively participate in organizations such as the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the International Association for Identification. Analysts are also encouraged to obtain certification from the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) and other certifying bodies
  • The last and the most important leg of this triad is that of testing the laboratory’s precision and accuracy through a rigorous program of proficiency testing. Every analyst in the laboratory annually undergoes at least one proficiency test from an external proficiency test provider.

The division has been a very active partner with law enforcement, legal and other agencies of Westchester County, providing countless courses and presentations, which promote the use and understanding of scientific evidence in criminal investigations.

The division participates in community outreach by offering tours to local educational institutions and through an active internship program conducted in conjunction with a number of area schools.

All of the above keeps the laboratory on the cutting edge of the forensic sciences. The division strives to provide the county with the most advanced analysis of physical evidence in a cost-effective way, thus contributing to the increased safety of Westchester County residents.