CHICAGO - April 22, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $37.8 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding to construct a new Illinois State Police forensic laboratory in Belleville. The facility will provide the Illinois State Police with enhanced crime-solving ability and give police agencies throughout the region a valuable tool for their criminal investigations. The project will create approximately 260 construction jobs and is expected to be completed by late 2012.
“Ensuring public safety and creating jobs are two of my administration’s top priorities,” said Governor Quinn. “This project helps us accomplish both by creating an important asset for law enforcement in the Metro East area, while creating 260 jobs.”
The 60,000-square-foot facility will include state-of-the-art space and equipment for crime scene science, anthropology, trace and forensic biology, and chemistry; and polygraph, latent prints, firearms, and DNA testing. It will be located on land purchased in 2007 from Lindenwood University.
“Bids for the forensic laboratory will be opened June 30, with contracts awarded and construction beginning by late summer,” said Jim Underwood, Executive Director of the Capital Development Board (CDB), which administers all non-road, state-funded construction projects.
”The new laboratory will provide much-needed space to house the sophisticated equipment and personnel necessary to perform analytical processes. The new facility will also afford crime scene investigators space to process vehicles and other large items for evidence, as well as an examination room for a polygraph examiner,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau.
For more than two decades the Illinois State Police has leased 15,000 square feet of office space as its laboratory in Fairview Heights. The rented space can no longer accommodate the agency’s technological changes, casework growth and staffing needs.
”The forensic lab to be constructed in Belleville is a situation where everyone wins,” State Sen. James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis) said. ”With the development of the new lab, our police will have more advanced tools to better protect the citizens of Illinois, and jobs will be created because of its construction. I would like to thank Governor Quinn, and I am thrilled about this development coming to my district.”
“This state-of-the-art forensic lab will fill the needs of law enforcement and prosecutors in Southern Illinois now and in the future,” said State Rep. Thomas Holbrook (D-Belleville). “This will help the state meet its obligations to our citizens.”