BELLEVILLE – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by state and local officials to open a new State Police Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory in Belleville. The facility will provide the Illinois State Police (ISP) and police agencies throughout the region with enhanced crime-solving abilities. The event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of all people in every community across Illinois.
“Our law enforcement agencies must have the best resources available to investigate crimes and arrest offenders,” Governor Quinn said. “This facility gives local authorities access to the very latest tools and technology to help them conduct investigations more efficiently and effectively while protecting the safety of the people of Illinois.”
The 64,000 square-foot, $41.6 million forensic laboratory, funded by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, includes state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for crime scene services, trace chemistry, drug chemistry, polygraph, latent prints, firearms and forensic biology/DNA testing.
The facility is located on land purchased in 2007 from Lindenwood University. The construction project was administered by the Capital Development Board, which oversees all non-road state-funded construction projects.
“The new forensic lab will meet the infrastructure requirements of today's highly technical scientific equipment and serve our most important clients – the victims and their families,” Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said.
For more than two decades, the Illinois State Police had leased 15,000 square feet of renovated office space as its laboratory in Fairview Heights. The rented space could no longer accommodate the agency’s technological changes, casework growth and staffing needs.
“This lab will give police and prosecutors better tools to advance justice and avoid improperly arresting and convicting innocent people,” State Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) said. “This project is thanks to a fruitful partnership between the state and Lindenwood’s Belleville campus, which will improve educational opportunities for its students.”
“This new facility will make it easier for Illinois’ police officers to do their jobs,” State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) said. “The state-of-the-art technology will also provide the most effective tools in assisting local and state investigators and ensuring public safety.”
The Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.