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Moultrie crime lab gains DNA accreditation

MOULTRIE, Ga. -- The Southwestern Regional Crime Lab, a unit of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, has achieved an important advancement in its forensic DNA testing, officials say.

According to George Herrin, GBI crime lab director, on Thursday the Moultrie facility received international accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board, or ASCLD/LAB. GBI officials say accreditation affirms that the facility -- staffed with three chemistry scientists, three biology scientists, three laboratory scientists and a manager -- meets internationally recognized quality standards for testing laboratories.

The three biology scientists will now be doing DNA case work for the GBI, officials say, with analysis on 200-250 expected cases annually.

According to the GBI statement, adding DNA testing will help improve turnaround times and reduce backlogs submitted by 27 counties in Southwest Georgia.

"This is a wonderful achievement for the Moultrie Crime Lab and for the GBI," Herrin said. "Adding DNA accreditation allows us to provide better service to law enforcement and our criminal justice customers in Southwest Georgia."

The Southwestern Region Crime Lab is also accredited to the ASCLD/LAB international standard in drug chemistry and serology, officials say.