The Johnson County Sheriff's Office Criminalistics Laboratory (JCSOCL) first began operations in 1974 with five staff, and offered services in photography, latent prints, crime scene processing, and firearms/toolmarks analysis. The services were soon expanded to include controlled substances, serology, and trace evidence. By the mid-1980's, the JCSOCL was considered a full-service crime lab with a total of nine staff.
In 1999, the JCSOCL received its first national accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) in the disciplines of Biology/DNA, Controlled Substances, Latent Prints, Questioned Documents, and Firearms / Tool Marks.
In 2004, the JCSOCL completed its second accreditation with a scope of services covering Biology/DNA, Controlled Substances, Latent Prints, Trace (limited to Fire Debris) and Digital Evidence (limited to Video Forensics). The lab also began to become heavily involved in crime scene processing.
In 2010, the JCSOCL completed its third accreditation under a new, more stringent program; the ASCLD/LAB-International program. This new program is based on a set of Internationally recognized standards (ISO/IEC 17025:2005) as well as a set of supplemental, forensic science based standards specific to ASCLD/LAB.
In April of 2012, the JCSOCL moved into its new, state-of-the-art facility located at the Johnson County Sunset campus. This new facility will allow the crime laboratory to continue to provide full service, cutting edge forensic science services to the citizens of Johnson County well into the 21st century.
Staffing levels at the JCSOCL have increased from five in 1974 to a current level of forty-two. The forensic science examination needs of Johnson County have steadily grown over the past 20 years, and will continue to require higher levels of staffing in order to maintain the laboratory’s ability to analyze evidence in a timely manner.
The JCSOCL currently routinely serves agencies in Johnson County and the surrounding area including: Olathe Police Department (PD), Olathe Fire Department, Mission PD, Shawnee PD, Shawnee Mission School District, Bonner Springs PD, Prairie Village PD, Merriam PD, Gardner PD, Lenexa PD, Leawood PD, Westwood PD, Overland Park PD, Roeland Park PD, Spring Hill PD, Lake Quivira PD, Fairway PD, Johnson County District Attorney, Johnson County Sheriff, Johnson County Park Patrol, Kansas State Fire Marshall, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security/ICE.