County police, forensics lab earn accreditation

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The Allegheny County Police Department and the forensics laboratory in the county Medical Examiner's Office have both received accreditation from peer organizations, county Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced in a news release today.

"I couldn't be prouder of the accomplishments of these offices today," Mr. Fitzgerald said in a statement. "The accreditation of both of these agencies reinforces what we already know in the county. Our employees excel at what they do: provide excellent service to our residents and continuously strive to be even better.”

Both accreditation processes were voluntary.

The Allegheny County Police Department was re-accredited in the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association earlier this month, following a review that included a look at the department's performance and policies.

The accreditation -- its second after first receiving the distinction in 2011 -- is good for three years and makes Allegheny County's police department one of the 95 out of 1,200 departments to be so accredited, the news release said.

Charles Moffatt, the county police superintendent, called the accreditation process "exhaustive" and gave credit in a statement to the county's employees and officers.

Also receiving accreditation was the forensic laboratory in the Medical Examiner's office, which in March was accredited in the Field of Forensic Science Testing by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board, according to the county. The five-year accreditation includes forensic disciplines such as toxicology, trace evidence and forensic prints.

Karl Williams, the Allegheny County medical examiner, said in a statement that the accreditation "puts our laboratories in a very exclusive group because of the work that we do."

Kaitlynn Riely: or 412-263-1707.

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