BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City’s police department’s crime lab is recognized as one of the best in the country. The lab is now accredited, a move that strengthens the credibility of evidence used in criminal cases.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

Inside the laboratory division of the Baltimore City Police Department, their job is to provide the most accurate forensic evidence possible.

“We have a ton of cases that come in from the streets, ranging from burglary to homicide and each one of those cases changes our day,” said Steven Allen O’Dell Jr.

Inside the Baltimore City crime lab, there are nine separate testing labs, each in a special area of expertise.

“It involves intake of evidence, scientific processing of evidence, report writing, thorough documentation and ultimately testifying in court. It also involves going out on crime scenes and working on crime scenes,” O’Dell said.

Now the lab is accredited, a status that strengthens the credibility of evidence presented in a criminal case.

“It involved changes to procedures. It involved a lot of paperwork changes, documentation changes,” he said. “In some small degree, changing some of our mindset that’s traditional in crime laboratories about how we do work and who we serve.”

The accreditation was acknowledged before the department and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

“It doesn’t get any higher than this. There are no higher accreditations. This is the top level of accreditations inside crime labs,” O’Dell said.

The Baltimore City Police Department is the eighth largest in the country.

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