on October 30, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Crime lab ready for testing

Crime lab ready for testing

Civic leaders and law enforcement officials toured the expanded and improved Jefferson County Regional Crime Lab on Oct. 22.

The lab more than tripled in size, from 2,500 square feet to 16,500 square feet and will bring together forensic technicians from the county’s various municipalities who are in need of better equipment, more space, faster results –; all of which will eliminate the need for going to the state for help.

“As we have now finished the validation stage of the DNA lab and as we bring that stuff online, we anticipate that we will be cutting some of those time frames at about half of what we have been experiencing,” said Division Chief Jeff Shrader at the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office. “That will give us the ability to set the priorities and set the number of items of what we can test at any given place.”

The cost for the campus project was $ 34.8 million with an estimated $ 12 million of the total cost dedicated toward the crime lab and storage space, Shrader said. The lab’s high-tech equipment for DNA extraction and testing costs $ 750,000.

“We feel that we owe it to our community and our victims to analyze evidence that comes across our individual agencies in a timely and efficient manner so that we can ensure a speedy prosecution for those that rely on forensic evidence,” said Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink.

The lab houses several exam rooms for different areas of forensic investigations including DNA testing, ballistics, fingerprinting and a chemistry lab with quality testing equipment to accommodate advancing forensic science.

Cities help support the crime lab through money or through staffing –; technicians employed by city law enforcement agencies who will work there.

Jeffco’s trend toward regionalizing certain services is part of the county’s and surrounding cities’ efforts to work together to provide better service while saving on costs. Other regional law enforcement partnerships including a regional training academy and a West Metro Drug Task Force with several plans in the works for the future including regionalizing a dispatch center for police and fire services.

“Without the support of city councils and managers –; we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Mink said.

Golden City Manager Mike Bestor attended the tour along with Golden city council members, Marcia Claxton and Saoirse Charis-Graves.

“This is going to prove to be a great investment for nailing these bad guys,” Bestor said, who supported the lab project. “All the jurisdictions here work really, really well together and that makes all the difference in the world.”

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