NEWS RELEASE 21-064 - DECEMBER 1, 2021
Forensic Chemists Alison Kaskey and Nancy Ludwigsen.
Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman is pleased to announce the agency’s Drug Lab successfully earned accreditation by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) on November 19.
Assessors conducted a three-day on-site visit in October to review policies and procedures, audit casework and documentation, conduct personnel surveys, and inspect instrumentation. Based on the assessment, the A2LA Accreditation Council found the sheriff’s office Drug Lab to be in full compliance with all internationally recognized laboratory standards for forensic testing of controlled substances. To maintain accreditation, the unit must be re-assessed every two years and submit documentation annually. The sheriff’s office staffs the only drug lab in Sarasota County with two full-time chemists who analyze drug evidence for several local law enforcement agencies.
“Compliance with national and international standards is crucial to ensuring acceptable agency practices, especially involving the analysis of dangerous illegal substances,” said Sheriff Hoffman. “Our forensic chemists worked hard to complete the accreditation process and should be very proud of their achievement.”
In addition to A2LA accreditation, the sheriff’s office is accredited by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA), and the Emergency Operations Bureau’s Public Safety Communications Section is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) for law enforcement dispatch, and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) for medical and fire communications. The agency’s Property and Evidence Section successfully earned accreditation in 2020 by the International Association for Property and Evidence (IAPE), and the Sarasota County Correctional Facility was most recently re-accredited by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) in October.