History and Overview
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory was created in 1977 by Act 517. The laboratory was placed in the Department of Public Safety by Act 864 of 1979. This action was reversed by Act 45 of 1981, which made the laboratory an independent agency. In April 1981, the laboratory began moving into its current location at #3 Natural Resources Drive in Little Rock. At that time, the agency shared the building with the Arkansas State Police, occupying approximately 26,000 square feet on the third floor and the basement. In April 1997, State Police moved to their new facility and the Crime Laboratory began remodeling the building at #3 Natural Resources Drive allowing itself to occupy 80,000 square feet. In 2019, the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory was placed in the Department of Public Safety by the Transformation and Efficiencies Act.
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory is led by a Director. Act 383 of 1991 created a new Crime Laboratory Board, which is made up of eight members (where the original board had only seven members). There is no charge to any law enforcement agency for any analysis of evidence submitted or for testimony in criminal court. The agency can charge specific fees for testimony of its analyst in civil courts. The Crime Laboratory only accepts evidence from those agencies having law enforcement responsibilities. However, during the 79th Legislative Session, the Public Defender Commission was given the authority to utilize laboratory services.
To provide quality forensic services to the criminal justice community and the State of Arkansas in a timeframe amenable to our customers.
To support public safety by providing analytical results within thirty days of submission.
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory has defined a set of core values that influence the way we conduct our daily work:
- Clear communication
- Professional development
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory has developed a Strategic Plan for 2019–2021. The most current document can be viewed here.