Belleville, Illinois is not what most people think of when someone mentions crime scene investigations. But they just might be from now on thanks to a new crime lab.
Forensic scientists and crime scene investigators have a new facility to call home in Southern Illinois where all manner of forensic investigations – including analysis of DNA, fingerprints, ballistics, and other investigative elements – will take place.
The work done at the new crime lab will provide a central hub for analysis to be performed and records to be kept that will be used by police officers and attorneys as evidence in criminal court cases.
Declaration by the State Police Director
The director of the Illinois State Police declared during the ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new facility that the people of the state of Illinois can and will take great comfort in knowing that the most advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment and computer software specific to crime scene investigations will be utilized at the lab.
The facility will support and aid in an effort to convict criminals, exonerate suspects who are legitimately innocent, and establish justice for the victims of crime.
Replacing an Old Rental Space
The official name of the facility is the State Police Metro East Forensic Sciences Laboratory. It is the latest addition to the state’s collection of crime labs that operate in Rockford, Chicago, and Springfield among other cities.
The facility itself is located just adjacent to Lindenwood University and covers 64,000 square feet of real estate. It was constructed with funds from the state’s capital construction program and cost just over $41 million to build.
Until the new facility was built, crime scene investigators and forensic scientists in Southern Illinois were performing their work in a building that was roughly one-fourth the size of the new one and which was essentially office space that had been rented by the city of Belleville for the better part of twenty years.