New forensic lab set to open in Los Angeles


For years, an enormous DNA backlog has been building in Los Angeles’s outdated police and forensic labs. The Los Angeles Police Department currently has a backlog of 6,000 DNA samples. But help is on the way.

On May 11, a new $102-million facility – a joint venture between city and county law enforcement agencies and California State University, Los Angeles, will open for business. The space will be equipped to handle evidence from 140,000 cases that will be submitted annually.

Beset by outdated equipment, inadequate work space and a lack of personnel, thousands of DNA samples have piled up and many cold case files have laid unsolved for years at the existing Los Angeles Police Department and sheriff's labs.

But the new five-story, 209,080-square-foot facility combining the LAPD and sheriff's labs will feature the latest technology and far more space for more personnel.

"We'll be able to take more than just the worst sexual assaults, homicides and aggravated assaults," sheriff's Scientific Services Bureau Capt. Earl M. Shields said.

Read the full story here

. (LA Daily News, 4/20/07, LexisNexis subscription required)

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