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CFO Alex Sink's Bureau of Forensic Fire & Explosives Analysis Receives International Accreditation

9/3/2010

CONTACT: Jayme O’Rourke or Jennifer Hirst (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE— Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink’s Bureau of Forensic Fire & Explosives Analysis (BFFEA) Investigations has received the prestigious honor of full international accreditation status from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board International (ASCLD/LAB-International).  The Bureau qualified for the highly prized recognition of law enforcement excellence after meeting 380 standards applicable for a forensic laboratory seeking accreditation. 
 
 “This honor demonstrates the hard work and professionalism of our Forensic Fire & Explosives Analysis Bureau, as they join the ranks of top forensic labs across the nation,” said CFO Sink.  “I commend our State Fire Marshal lab members who worked diligently to obtain this greatly deserved and prestigious honor.”
 
“With guidance from Deputy CFO Brian London, SFM Director Julius Halas and Bureau Chief Carl Chasteen, the members of the lab should be very proud of this accomplishment because they are an integral part of being accredited,” said ASCLAD/Lab-International Executive Director Ralph Keaton, who presented the Bureau with the official accreditation certificate yesterday morning. “The superb processes they follow is the ultimate goal.  You have well trained and tested staff.” 
 
“There are many people to thank for reaching this milestone.  I am very proud of our lab members who work so diligently and assist our Bureau of Fire & Arson, along with local fire departments in processing evidence from arson cases and determining what caused the arson,”  said SFM Division Director Julius Halas.  “Not only did they meet the goal of gaining this accreditation, but they completed it ahead of their desired time frame.”
 
The accreditation lasts five years, with annual site visits. 
 
The Bureau of Forensic Fire and Explosives Analysis of the Division of State Fire Marshal is the State of Florida forensic laboratory specializing in the analysis of fire debris and explosives.  More commonly known as the Arson Lab, submissions for analysis are received from law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Florida.  The Bureau’s largest customer is the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI).  BFAI is tasked with nearly 4,400 new cases each year and credits their 18% clearance by arrest rate to the assistance of the BFFEA (Arson Lab).  Arson cases are notoriously difficult to prove yet the strong reputation of BFFEA has provided results in cases that are readily accepted for prosecution. The Arson Lab provides specialized forensic analysis in the identification of ignitable liquids used in the commission of arson as well as chemical compounds and explosives residues used in bombs and clandestine laboratories.  To learn more about the State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Forensic Fire & Explosive Analysis, visit: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/sfm/lab/BFEA_index.htm.
 
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