Western Maryland Regional Crime Lab

The Western Maryland Regional Crime Laboratory (WMRCL) is located at the Hagerstown Police Department headquarters building. Forensic examinations of evidence are performed in the laboratory to support organizations within Washington County and other federal, state and local agencies. Lab personnel play a crucial role in major case investigations through the identification, documentation, collection, preservation and analysis of physical evidence present at crime scenes. The laboratory also prepares court exhibits for use in the adjudication of these cases.

The mission of the WMRCL is to provide delivery of forensic examinations and other services to law enforcement through:
  • A total commitment to quality;
  • Technical leadership;
  • Prompt, accurate, and thorough responses to requests;
  • Innovative uses of technology to facilitate investigations;
  • Sharing information and technology with the criminal justice community;
  • A work environment that fosters open communication, creativity, individual initiative, and personal achievement.
The WMRCL is accredited through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board – accreditation program. The laboratory conducts a wide variety of forensic examinations, such as:
  • Identification of suspected controlled dangerous substances
  • Serological examinations
  • Latent print processing
  • Handgun test firing
  • Crime scene
  • Special photographic applications
Laboratory personnel testify as "expert" witnesses in court regarding the examinations and evaluations they perform. Laboratory personnel have been qualified as experts in crime scene reconstruction, estimation of time of death, blood stain pattern interpretation, fingerprints and forensic chemistry and serology.

WMRCL staff members are active in various professional organizations including: the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers, American Society of Crime Laboratory Director's, International Association for Identification (IAI), Chesapeake Bay Division of the IAI, and International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts. Laboratory personnel are constantly updating their forensic skills through attending work related classes, seminars and professional meetings. The WMRCL staff regularly instructs "in-service" training programs for the criminal justice community. Various staff members are adjunct faculty instructors at the college level.