The Mississippi Crime Laboratory (MCL), a division of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, was established by legislative authority granted to the Commissioner of Public Safety in 1956. The MCL began operation when funding was made available in 1966. The Director of the MCL is appointed by the Commissioner and is responsible for the operation of the MCL and of the State Medical Examiner’s Office (MSME). The MCL Director reports to the Commissioner of Public Safety.
The MCL provides a full range of forensic services to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Specific sections providing services at the MCL include:
MCL services are divided into three categories: Impression Evidence, Analytical, and Bioscience. Impression Evidence services involve comparisons and examination of latent prints, firearms and tool marks and questioned documents, as well as technical assistance to laboratory sections and evidence management. Analytical services primarily involve chemical analysis of substances, and Bioscience services, which are primarily biological in nature, include serology examinations and DNA testing.
The Impression Evidence Division includes the following sections:
The Analytical Division includes the following sections:
The Bioscience Division includes:
- Conventional Serology
- DNA Testing
- Offender DNA Database (CODIS)
The MCL is committed to providing the highest quality of professional forensic services to the State of Mississippi. Interwoven in this committment is a dedication to apply sound scientific principles in all analyses, to be responsive to the clients of the MCL, to maintain a standard of objective and ethical performance, and to be a leader in advancing forensic science. The purpose for existence and mission of the MCL is to provide state-of-the-art, timely forensic analyses to items of physical evidence collected from scenes of criminal activity and report the results of that analyses to appropriate entities in the criminal justice community.
The Mississippi Crime Laboratory’s administrative team consists of the MCL Director, who reports to the Commissioner of Public Safety, two Deputy Directors (Administrative and Technical), two Division Coordinators (Impression Evidence and Analytical), the Bioscience Technical Leader, the Regional Lab Managers, the Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Manager, the Forensic Projects Manager and the Training Manager. Under this tier is a middle level of management which is composed of the Section Chiefs. Support services staff includes a Purchasing Chief, an Accountant Auditor, an Executive Secretary, a Receptionist and a Housekeeper. This organizational structure resulted from a major reorganization approved in Fiscal Year 1999 to address, among other things, the need for middle level laboratory management, and to create the positions of Forensic QA/QC Manager and Forensic Training Manager.