October 19, 2021

OPP forensic identification laboratory using state-of-the-art technology

Were retired forensic identity police officers hiding their envy during public tours of the OPP’s new identification center in Chatham on Wednesday?

Probably, but they hid it well.

Those who worked in the forensic unit at the OPP’s Chatham-Kent headquarters were forced to share their workspace with the dining room, a senior OPP officer joked during ceremonies. opening.

“We have come to the world,” said ID unit commander Sgt. Curt Lansens.

The new facility on Park Avenue next to the OPP headquarters is a multi-million dollar building equipped with cutting-edge technology to examine evidence and solve crimes.

The building includes a laboratory area with three biohazard suites, one for victim, suspect and crime scene evidence to ensure no cross-contamination of physical evidence.

While the OPP would not open the doors to short- and long-term evidence storage areas for public scrutiny, Lansens said lawyers can request insight into how evidence is handled.

However, a separate chemical room, photo studio, and bloodstain room for analyzing bloodstain patterns and academic research were part of the tour.

Among the new equipment is a chamber with heat and humidity controls for developing paper fingerprints.

The building also houses a large garage with an elevator for officers to inspect vehicles.

OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis cut a red ribbon to officially open the new facility.

The forensic identification officer’s job is difficult, Lewis said.

“(They) are using modern science to keep dangerous offenders off the streets.”

In doing so, the work of identity officers often deals with tragedies; “they see the worst… in less than favorable circumstances,” Lewis said.

The new Chatham facility serves Lambton and Essex counties, as well as the OPP guarded areas in Chatham-Kent.

There are 115 civilian and uniformed staff working in forensic identification at OPP facilities across Ontario.

From its humble beginnings in 1949 taking fingerprints and photographing crime scenes, identity officers have received ongoing training in advanced evidence-handling skills and how to defend their results in the courtroom. ‘hearing.

“Our history of forensic identification is recognized around the world,” Lewis said.

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