August 12, 2022

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Jefferson County planning to construct its first crime lab

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — Jefferson County is planning to construct its first crime lab, and officers mentioned the lab is essential for your complete St. Louis area. 

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Workplace storage room is crammed with DNA and proof ready to be examined.

“DNA proof could be a vastly crucial half to fixing a case and holding the suspect accountable,” mentioned Grant Bissell, the general public security data coordinator for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Workplace. 

Bissell mentioned the county doesn’t have its personal crime lab – so it’s needed to ship DNA proof to the Missouri Freeway Patrol in Jefferson Metropolis. Bissell mentioned the state has been backed up for years with 1000’s of instances.   

“They’re actually coping with each county and each police company throughout the state that doesn’t have it on prime lab,” Bissell mentioned.

Bissell mentioned in 2020, the Freeway Patrol restricted the kinds of proof it might course of to solely murder and rape crimes. The state additionally mentioned it wouldn’t settle for any proof that didn’t include blood or different bodily fluid. Bissell mentioned a lot of their theft and residential invasion proof has not been examined but due to these adjustments. He additionally mentioned there’s nonetheless an extended watch for the proof they may give to the state.

 “Although they’ve scaled that again, the turnaround time can nonetheless be 9, 10, 12,13, even 14 months to get proof that they’re going to course of,” Bissell mentioned. “We now have to elucidate to those victims that look that is going to take time.” 

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The county got here up with an answer – to construct its personal crime lab, utilizing cash the county obtained by way of the American Rescue Plan Act.   

“Our hope is that with this new crime lab however as soon as it comes on-line that that timeframe will likely be drastically lowered,” Bissell says.

The proposal is for the crime lab to be constructed 20 minutes from the sheriff’s workplace on the detective in Pevely, Missouri. It is not going to solely course of DNA proof – however digital proof as nicely which can be discovered on telephones, vehicles, and computer systems.  

“It’s an even bigger image factor past the county as a result of 46% of the inmates in our jail proper now stay someplace outdoors of Jefferson County. This may have an effect throughout your complete St. Louis area versus simply the Jefferson County space,” Bissell provides. “It’s going to be a game-changer so far as having the ability to present justice for folks in Jefferson County.” 

Bissell mentioned the crime lab is within the very early phases of planning, so there’s no timeline but on when it needs to be constructed. 

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