Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“Excuse me, Sir! I think you dropped your cells.”

We have all seen the show CSI and most of us are impressed with the amazing ways crimes can be solved using forensic science. A lot has changed since the days of Sherlock Holmes. Although, he was on the right track by using a magnifying glass to look for evidence not easily available to the naked eye.

On Friday March 2nd, the new 62,500 square foot Criminalistics Laboratory, run by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, had its ribbon cutting ceremony. The new state-of-the-art lab is four times the size of the previous lab and has the capability of processing evidence from all over the county. Services include fingerprint analysis, DNA testing, forensic evidence, video analysis, foot and tire tracks, controlled substance analysis, and various other crime scene investigation media.

The Overland Park Police Department currently has 35 trained Evidence Technicians. There are two full time Crime Scene Detectives, who process everything from stolen autos, burglaries and rapes to robberies and homicides. They assist at death scenes including unattended deaths, suicides, or even homicides. There are also 85 patrol officers who are trained to process basic crime scenes. These officers’ main priority is answering calls for service, but they possess the skills and equipment to collect evidence at crime scenes. Even though our evidence technicians are highly skilled, they cannot pull fingerprints from the air and solve the crimes in less than an hour like they do on TV.

Overland Park, Kansas remains a great community with great emergency services. The addition of this crime lab provides another resource for us to give superior service and protection. Criminals are starting to think twice about committing their crimes in Overland Park due to the word getting out that if you do crime in OP, chances are you’ll do time.