Local News

Jun 26, 2013 1:52 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

New Crime Lab Opens in Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI - The new Corpus Christi crime lab is in use for law enforcement and should begin to eliminate the backlog of cases waiting to be processed. The 6 million dollar project drew a lot of attention Wednesday morning. Several dozen people including law enforcement, the public and state officials gathered for the ribbon cutting.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was right outside the new crime lab but inside is where the cutting edge equipment is. The main attraction was the soundproof firearms testing range, public safety officials say this is the most unique element found inside the lab.

"A new section devoted to fire arms where scientists can analyze and compare firearm evidence along with tool mark evidence which helps determine which tool is responsible for marks or impressions found at a crime scene," Public Safety Commission Chairman A. Cynthia Leon said.

The 18-thousand square foot lab also includes drug analysis, blood alcohol testing, serology, and DNA examination rooms.

"You might say that while some fight crime with a badge and a gun others are fighting crime with a petri dish," Leon said.

Forensic scientists can process data and DNA, that will determine if crime scene samples collected, match up with suspects in custody or help police with a lead on an investigation.

"This lab provides added space for storing evidence and future staff expansion," Leon added.

The extra space will be used to store evidence, such as weapons that will be held in special rifle cases. This new location is one of 13 across the state and official have no doubt that it will help the flow of investigations.

Officials also hope to hire more lab technicians in addition to the 14 forensic specialists already working. State officials say bottom line is one thing.

"This is a good signal that South Texas and Corpus Christi are going to be promoting safety and ensuring safety from this point forward," State Representative Todd Hunter said.

It's been 40 years since the last Corpus Christi crime lab was built and after 4 years of planning, the 6 million dollar blue print became a reality in the community.

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