Attorney General Lockyer Hosts Ceremony to Kick-Off Construction of New Santa Rosa Crime Lab
(SANTA ROSA) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today hosted a special ceremony to kick-off the construction of a new California Department of Justice (DOJ) forensic laboratory that will serve law enforcement agencies in Lake, Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties. Lockyer was joined at today’s groundbreaking ceremony by local elected officials and numerous law enforcement representatives.
“For more than 30 years the Santa Rosa crime lab has worked to meet the forensic needs of law enforcement and the community,” Lockyer said. “The new laboratory will allow us to continue our exemplary service by utilizing the latest technology available to investigate crimes and provide expert analysis.”
The DOJ’s new 14,685-square-foot facility will replace the existing smaller office and employ 10 scientists and staff when it is completed. The lab will provide important forensic services, including: DNA evidence screening, analysis of controlled substances, blood and breath alcohol tests, trace evidence analysis, crime scene and drug lab response, as well as firearms and tool-mark examinations. The increased space also will allow the lab to increase its storage capabilities and facilitate the receipt, storage and retrieval of evidence. In addition, the lab will be located close to Highway 101, making it more convenient for clients.
Established in 1975, the Santa Rosa lab was originally a home-economics classroom in a California Youth Authority girl’s prison building. It provides criminal laboratory services to approximately 41 city, county and state law enforcement agencies, including the District Attorney’s offices. The size of the current lab is less than 5,000-square-feet.
In California, 46 of the state’s 58 counties rely on DOJ’s 10 regional crime labs for forensic services.
Regional laboratories are also located in Eureka, Redding, Chico, Sacramento, Ripon, Freedom, Fresno, Santa Barbara and Riverside. DOJ also has a DNA laboratory in Richmond. The regional labs process, examine, analyze, and compare a wide variety of physical evidence, as well as interpret the significance of scientific findings to law enforcement agencies and provide expert testimony in court. Under Lockyer’s leadership, seven of the 11 crime labs have been rebuilt or newly constructed to expand the availability and quality of forensic services throughout California. Last year, Lockyer was able to secure $2.5 million to upgrade older equipment throughout all labs.