Bureau of Criminal Investigation celebrates 100 years

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BCI staff members celebrate the agency’s centennial milestone.

(Posted Sept. 7, 2021)

On Sept. 1, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) celebrated 100 years of service for local law enforcement.

“BCI has become a powerhouse of forensic science while still serving its original mission as the database of Ohio’s criminal records and more,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

“With expertise and impartialness, BCI operates as a team and a team player, providing forensic, identification and investigatory resources to local law enforcement across Ohio each moment of every day.”

The state legislature created the Bureau of Criminal Identification as a record-keeping agency within the then-Department of Public Welfare in 1921. Housed in the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, BCI began as a modest records-keeping agency. Advancements in technology and a growing need for centralized law enforcement support spurred BCI’s growth into the state’s crime lab and a leading resource for special investigations. BCI became part of the Attorney General’s Office in 1963.

Today, BCI is known for its role as Ohio’s central repository for criminal records, cutting-edge forensic criminal laboratory and provider of specialized investigative services to local law enforcement.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (left) holds a resolution presented by State Rep. Bill Dean (right) recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). Ceremonies took place on Sept. 1 at BCI office locations in London, Richfield and Bowling Green.

During simultaneous ceremonies held on Sept. 1 at BCI office locations in London, Richfield and Bowling Green, BCI employees were honored with resolutions from the Ohio General Assembly.

The centennial celebration included a look at the initiatives driving BCI’s current success. In BCI’s laboratories, forensic scientists are using familial DNA testing, massively parallel sequencing, mitochondrial DNA testing and genetic genealogy. BCI’s record-keepers have instituted significant upgrades to the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway system and its Ohio Biometric Identification System which serve as critical infrastructure for law enforcement across the state. New approaches have been employed to investigate officer-involved critical incidents, cold case homicides and missing persons cases.

“As I congratulate BCI on its first century, I’m excited by the prospects for its next 100 years,” Yost said. “What additional feats of extraordinary justice will be performed as expertise and equipment advances?”

For more information about BCI, its personnel and capabilities, visit BCI’s new website at OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BCI.

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