Good news was reported earlier this month for law enforcement agencies in Missouri and South Carolina when officials announced that funding had been approved to build a crime lab in each state.
The first forensics lab will be located in Tulsa Missouri and will be a joint venture between the city of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and should be completed by March 2010. The five-story, 1 million square foot facility, will house both law enforcement officials and students from the University’s medical college. Police will use the new building for storing property and forensic evidence as well as establishing a much larger and more state of the art forensics laboratory. The medical college will occupy the remaining space with forensic science classrooms, research labs, and faculty offices. In addition, OSU will also use the building for biomedical science research. Officials hope that the new facilities will help ease case backlog for law enforcement while providing a unique partnership that benefits students who want a career in the field of scientific research.
The second crime laboratory is expected to be built in Beaufort County South Carolina. The laboratory will be designed for analyzing illegal drugs as well as DNA evidence. Currently the county uses the state crime lab, but with expected budget cuts in 2009, the benefits to having their own DNA lab will be significant for Beaufort County. The new forensics lab will allow law enforcement to analyze DNA evidence in a matter of days opposed to weeks, or in some cases, even months. Initially, until the lab obtains its accreditations, results will have to be check by another lab. Regardless of that fact, Sheriff PJ Tanner stated that the lab will immediately be an asset to police in helping to determine which cases are related as well as possible suspects involved.