BCI Laboratory FAQs
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BCI Laboratory FAQs

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What is Forensic Science?
Forensic Science is the application of the science to evidence from a criminal investigation.


What kind of training/education is required to work as a Forensic Scientist?
A forensic scientist is required to have a formal education consisting of a bachelor degree in a natural science.  In order to work in the DNA section of the laboratory, the following coursework must also be included: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics and training in Statistics must be completed.


Where can I submit evidence?
BCI has 3 full service laboratories located in Bowling Green, Richfield and London. Evidence can be submitted to any of the evidence reception sites located in Youngstown, Athens, Cambridge, Bowling Green, Richfield and London.

BCI also has a laboratory located in Springifled where Drug Chemistry testing is performed; however, there is no evidence reception at this location.

Evidence can be submitted to any of the evidence receiving locations or can be mailed directly via FedEx, UPS, or certified USPS mail.


What are the laboratory services fees at BCI?
BCI performs laboratory services at no cost to submitting agencies.


How many items can I submit?
BCI is dedicated to providing timely and accurate testing of all evidence submission. To meet this goal most effectively, some of the laboratory units have adopted protocols specific for laboratory submissions. To access the current submission policies, click on the individual Laboratory Unit links above.


What is PreLog?
The Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG) has a link to a program called PreLog where submitting agencies can electronically submit their case information prior to bringing/sending the evidence to BCI. This function saves time during the evidence reception process.

For more information regarding OHLEG or to request access to OHLEG, email OHLEGsupport@ohioattorneygeneral.gov.


What is Laboratory Online?
The Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG) has a link to a program called Laboratory Online where investigating agencies can view electronic copies of approved laboratory reports and scientist’s statement of qualifications.

For more information regarding OHLEG or to request access to OHLEG, email OHLEGsupport@ohioattorneygeneral.gov.


Is there a BCI Laboratory Request form available that I can use?
Yes. You may select to use a PDF Fillable BCI submission sheet in order to document your case information, item descriptions, and requested laboratory services. This form should be completed prior to arrival at a BCI evidence reception location.

BCI submission sheet 


How should I package the evidence?
Evidence should be packaged to prevent loss/deterioration. Biological evidence should be air dried and packaged in paper products in most circumstances. Plastic is acceptable for packaging moist evidence, evidence exposed to potential insect infestations, or to prevent loss of powdery substances, hair or debris. Biological evidence packaged in plastic should be stored frozen.

Sharp objects, such as knives or glass, should be submitted in a hard, safe container to prevent physical harm to those who handle the package and to prevent sample loss.

Firearms should be submitted unloaded (when possible) in a secure gun box.

Furthermore, evidence should be packaged to protect the evidence from cross contamination. For example, five stains collected from different areas of the crime scene should be packaged in individual containers to prevent contact/cross contamination.


What quality assurance and quality control measures are in place?
BCI is an ANAB(American National Standards Institute-American Society for Quality National Accreditation Board) Internationally accredited laboratory. The laboratory ensures the quality of work by implementing numerous policies and procedures that include enforcing section specific training programs, minimum employee qualification, technical and administrative review processes, quality control checks, performance of validation studies prior to use of technology/equipment in casework analysis, and competency and proficiency program. View the scope of accreditation for each BCI laboratory.

How can I view my report?
Laboratory reports are mailed to the investigating officer (or designee) once they are administratively approved.

Laboratory reports are also available via OHLEG by clicking on the "Pre-Log and Inquiry" or  “Laboratory Online” links.


Who should I contact if I have questions about the results in a laboratory report?
The area below the signature line on the report is the contact information for the Forensic Scientist who authored the report.


How can I get a copy of the Forensic Scientist’s Statement of Qualifications (SOQ)?
SOQ’s are issued with the mailed copy of the laboratory report. Alternatively, you could contact the Forensic Scientist directly and they could provide a copy upon request. 


When will the evidence be returned to my agency?
The evidence will be available for pickup once the laboratory report(s) are issued. Please note that evidence is no longer shipped to agencies from BCI. 


How do I schedule a tour of BCI?
Submit a request for a laboratory tour. Provide the following details in your tour request:
  • Number attendees anticipated
  • Proposed dates for the tour
  • Group Affiliation (civilian, educational, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Laboratory Location (London, Richfield, Springfield or Bowling Green)