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Forensic Science

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BCA Calibration Laboratory First in Midwest to Earn International Accreditation

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Calibration Laboratory is the first lab in the Midwest and one of only 16 in the nation  to achieve international accreditation. The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) recently completed its review and accreditation process for the BCA lab.

“We place the highest priority on testing excellence and achieving international accreditation is affirmation of that commitment,” BCA Superintendent Wade Setter said.lab.png

The BCA Calibration Laboratory, also known as the Breath Testing Section, provides evidential breath test instruments to more than 200 law enforcement agencies throughout the state. These instruments are used to measure a person’s breath alcohol concentration when suspected of an alcohol related offense. The instruments are monitored for performance while in the field and ASCLD/LAB requires annual certification of each instrument. The BCA Calibration Lab also certifies over 5,000 operators through an initial training followed by recertification every two years.

The BCA laboratories in St. Paul and Bemidji this month were also reaccredited in more than two dozen categories of testing. The BCA labs are the only full service accredited crime laboratories in the state.

BCA Scientists Appointed to Forensic Standards Committees

In addition, three BCA forensic scientists have recently been appointed to serve on the newly created Organization for Scientific Area Committees. The committees were established by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Justice to help develop standards for forensic science quality and consistency in the United States.

“This is a great honor as hundreds of applicants from across the country sought these appointments,” BCA Forensic Science Services Director Cathy Knutson said. “It speaks to the quality of BCA scientists and the work they perform in this lab.”

Revised Controlled Substance Acceptance Policy Released

The BCA Forensic Science Services issued a revised Controlled Substance Acceptance Policy effective April 15.  The criteria outlined in the policy will assist the BCA Forensic Science Services in meeting the needs of our criminal justice partners and will facilitate quality and timely analysis of all controlled substance cases submitted to the Laboratory.  Select the link below to read the policy:

BCA Controlled Substances Policy


The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Service provides quality forensic science services for the criminal justice community and fosters partnerships that promote research, education and overall forensic science laboratory improvement.


"Seeking Truth through Science"


  • Espouse "Science is Neutral"
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Laboratory Excellence
  • Accountability

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