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The Orange County Crime Lab

Established in 1948, the Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL) is among the largest crime labs in the nation.  OCCL is a full-service crime laboratory serving the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, 21 independent city police departments, 13 fire agencies, and more than 100 additional law enforcement agencies. 


OCCL services include not only the collection, evaluation and analysis of physical evidence from crimes but also the preparation and presentation of expert testimony in preliminary hearings and trials.  The lab also provides enhanced services to County agencies under contract and also provides analytical services to agencies outside of the county for a fee under contract.


OCCL is one of only several crime labs in the nation to routinely perform DNA on high volume crimes.  It is also one of five agencies that have participated in a National Institute of Justice research project on the feasibility of DNA on property crimes.  The lab is also consistently one of the top California organizations in number of hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).


Key milestones for OCCL include:

  • 1989 – established the first law enforcement DNA laboratory in the western United States
  • 1992 –awarded Legacy Accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board
  • 1996 – helped create the first DNA kit
  • 2005- - introduced Y-Chromosome testing
  • 2008 – awarded International Accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board
  • 2010- awarded Breath Calibration Lab Accreditation (one of only six crime labs internationally to receive this accreditation)