The Department of Public Safety will have a new crime lab next to the department's offices and existing lab at 1922 S. Padre Island Drive.RELATED: Upward budget pressure at crime labs.
The new $10 million crime lab will be about 18,400 square feet, replacing the current 4,600-square-foot facility. In addition to testing drugs, blood alcohol and DNA, the lab will have equipment to analyze firearms and fingerprints.
Authorities said the new lab is much needed and are hoping it will bring quicker forensic results. The lab analyzes DNA evidence for 22 counties and conducts drug and alcohol screenings for 18 counties.
Valencia said police will investigate a crime, take statements and obtain physical evidence that connects someone to the crime. But they are forced to wait on results.
Cmdr. Todd Green said the police department cannot file cases to the district attorney's office until they get the lab reports from the Department of Public Safety facility.
"It causes a backlog," he said, "but its just something you have to work with."/
The testing of blood alcohol and drugs typically takes about 30 days, but DNA tests can take anywhere from eight months to a year, said Capt. William Edge, with the Nueces County Sheriff's Office.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Corpus crime lab expansion aims to reduce backlogs
The Caller Times reports today that DPS will open a new crime lab facility in Corpus Christi in April: