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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228447 Find in a Library
Title: Lab on Loan
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:36  Issue:8  Dated:August 2009  Pages:38,42,45
Author(s): Rebecca Kanable
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how the Cedar Rapids Police Department (Iowa) responded to the flooding of the department's facilities in June 2008, which included the crime laboratory and evidence storage area.
Abstract: In cleaning the evidence storage area, the department obtained a court order to allow destroying evidence more than 3 years old that did not involve a felony. Any salvageable evidence for homicides or active felony cases was packed into one of two freezer trucks to stop mold and microbiological growth as well as structural deterioration. Maintaining the chain of custody was part of the process as the trucks transported the items to a regional document recovery center, where they were inventoried, dried, and restored. The police headquarters was evacuated and relocated outside the flood zone to the city's ice arena for approximately 3 days and then moved to an old office building for 2 or 3 weeks. Deciding what to do about a crime laboratory proved difficult. A call to the International Association for Identification led to a referral to the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), which has six deployable forensic laboratories for agencies to borrow for free under a National Institute of Justice grant. These forensic laboratories are 8-feet by 20-feet by 8.5 feet. With the sides pulled out, the lab provides 400 square feet of dust-proof and light-proof work space. It has an access-controlled entryway, data-sharing capabilities, and a generator. The inside of the lab is empty, ready to house any forensic discipline. In the case of Cedar Rapids, the required forensic tasks involved three or four people performing more than one discipline. Equipment was purchased for use in both the temporary laboratory and later in the restored permanent crime laboratory.
Main Term(s): Police emergency planning
Index Term(s): Crime laboratory equipment; Crime laboratory facility planning; Disaster procedures; Emergency procedures; Police emergency planning; Police emergency procedures; Police facilities
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