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Attorney General Lockyer Hosts Grand Opening of New Riverside Crime Lab
New Lab Is Twice As Large and Adds DNA Analysis Unit
(RIVERSIDE) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today hosted a grand opening ceremony for the new California Department of Justice (DOJ) Riverside Crime Laboratory that will serve law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside and Imperial counties.
The new $13.5 million, 39,500 square-foot crime lab will employ 41 scientists and staff, making it the largest of the 10 regional crime laboratories run by the Attorney General's Office. The lab provides important criminal forensic services, including: analysis of controlled substances, blood alcohol tests, clandestine laboratory evidence, serology, trace evidence and questioned documents, as well as firearms and tool-mark examinations, and serial number restoration. The purchase of new equipment, office expansion and hiring of trained personnel allows the lab to offer new services in the areas of latent fingerprint examinations and DNA analysis. The new state-of-the art facility and equipment will allow the lab to process crime scene evidence more quickly.
"The scientific analysis of evidence has never been more useful in solving crimes," Lockyer said. "While the old lab served us well for 30 years, the new Riverside Lab will be the crown jewel of the state's regional lab network, providing local law enforcement with the most advanced analysis faster and better than ever before. This is good news for honest citizens and bad new for criminals who may have thought they could get away with their crimes."
Since 1973, the Riverside Crime Lab has been serving the forensic needs of Riverside and Imperial counties from the same location. Thirty years ago, however, the lab had a staff of six who worked on approximately 280 cases per year. Last year, the lab's 38 employees processed evidence for more than 13,000 cases. Originally, the 14,000 square-foot space was intended for a staff of six, but over the years, the staff has grown to the present 38, making the previous facility too small. The original laboratory also did not have DNA analysis capability.
In California, 46 of the state's 58 counties rely on the DOJ regional crime lab network for forensic services. Attorney General Lockyer has also secured funding to replace the state-run regional crime labs in Fresno and Ripon.