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FBI Laboratory Celebrates 80 Years of Excellence

Created on November 24, 1932—80 years ago this past weekend—the FBI Laboratory started small: a single agent in a single room with some basic equipment and supplies. Today, operating out of a state-of-the-art facility in Quantico, Virginia, the FBI Laboratory is one of the largest and most comprehensive crime labs in the world.

Nov 26, 2012 10:00 AM

FBI Laboratory Celebrates 80 Years of Excellence


It’s referenced authoritatively on television shows, in movies, and—most importantly—for real life investigations. And for good reason. Whenever the services of the FBI Laboratory are requested, its hundreds of scientific experts and special agents are at the ready, using science and technology to solve crimes, protect the nation, and support its law enforcement, intelligence, military, and forensic science partners.

Created on November 24, 1932—80 years ago this past weekend—the FBI Laboratory started small: a single agent in a single room with some basic equipment and supplies. Today, operating out of a state-of-the-art facility in Quantico, Virginia, the FBI Laboratory is one of the largest and most comprehensive crime labs in the world.

The Lab’s many services include everything from analyzing physical evidence to providing scientific support to investigations...from giving expert testimony in court to offering specialized training to crime lab and law enforcement personnel...from mapping crime scenes to conducting forensic exams of potentially hazardous material. Lab personnel are experts in identifying explosives, uncovering trace evidence, evaluating handwriting, cracking complex codes, collecting evidence in hard-to-reach places (including underwater), analyzing DNA, conducting facial reconstruction and imaging, recovering unseen fingerprints, and reconstructing shooting incidents, just to name a few things.

It’s hard to imagine the Bureau without its Lab. It is such a crucial part of the overall organization and has contributed to countless investigative successes. The FBI Laboratory has come a long way over the past 80 years...and looks forward to many more.

FBI Laboratory website | Story on Lab’s 75th birthday