SPRINGFIELD – Leaders from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s administration dedicated the new Illinois State Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Springfield today. The laboratory is located in the Combined Laboratory Facility on the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine campus in Springfield. Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent and Capital Development Board Executive Director Jim Riemer took part in today’s ceremony.
“Having state-of-the-art technology in our crime labs is among the most important tools law enforcement has to improve public safety and fight crime,” said Governor Blagojevich. “Equipping forensic scientists with a facility built specifically for their needs will help ensure case work is analyzed in a timely and consistent manner.”
The new $6.9 million State Police Forensic Science Laboratory was designed and built with the appropriate environmental controls and mechanical requirements necessary for modern scientific analysis, and is fully accredited under International Standardization Organization standards. More than 40 laboratory employees perform DNA and biology analysis; drug chemistry; trace chemistry analysis on items such as arson debris, paint and glass; firearms examination, including toolmarks; footwear tread pattern analysis; document and handwriting examination; and latent fingerprint examination on evidence submitted by local law enforcement agencies from criminal cases. The state-of-the-art facility provides forensic services to 300 law enforcement agencies in 33 Central Illinois counties to assist in solving crimes in their communities and receives more than 12,000 cases each year.
“Almost every criminal case involves some type of forensic analysis,” said Director Trent. “With the completion of the Combined Laboratory building, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and our citizens throughout Central Illinois can rest assured this lab will strive to provide the quality and expertise necessary to identify those who are guilty and hold them accountable.”
The construction project was overseen by the Capital Development Board (CDB), which administers all state facility construction projects. Construction began in early 2007. The contractors for the project included: General, Johnco Construction Inc. of Mackinaw; plumbing, Petersburg Plumbing & Heating, Petersburg; heating, E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield; ventilation, R.J. Power Plumbing & Heating, Petersburg; electrical, Egizii Electric Inc., Springfield; sprinklers, Automatic Fire Sprinkler LLC of Normal.
“I commend the contractors and the work they have performed on this project. Their fine work has provided our police forces with a valuable law enforcement tool,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Riemer.
The Illinois State Police Forensic Science Laboratory is part of the $30.4 million Springfield Combined Laboratory Facility, a five-story addition to the SIU School of Medicine building which was completed in 2006. The ISP laboratory is located on the fourth and part of the fifth floors of the building, having moved from inadequate space in a converted office building in Springfield. The facility also contains the Bio-Safety Level 3 Enhanced Laboratory operated by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the School of Medicine on the third floor, and School of Medicine research laboratories on the second floor.