Richland County Crime Lab Earns Dna Accreditation
The crime laboratory of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will be only the second one in South Carolina to get accreditation for DNA analysis, says Sheriff Leon Lott; the first one was the lab at the State Law Enforcement Division. Richland County’s lab started analyzing DNA two months ago and was recently examined by members of the FBI-associated DNA Advisory Board.
The accreditation lets the county take part in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which permits federal, state, and local crime labs to swap DNA profiles electronically.
The Richland DNA lab recently helped solve a case in which an individual used a family member’s car without permission and denied driving it. A cigar in the vehicle was used to obtain a DNA sample that matched with the DNA of the suspected family member.
“If this technology wasn’t available, we would have never been able to solve the case,” says Lott. He estimates that the overall cost of the lab was approximately $500,000, which the department paid for using federal grant money, taxes, and confiscated drug money. The annual operating budget for the lab, including salary for employees, is anticipated to be $300,000, Lott says.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the The State (SC) (12/05/04) P. B3; Jackson, Shalama C.