Charleston PD forensics lab plans take another step forward with DRB approval

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department wants a new forensics lab and it took another step toward reality Monday night.

The building's design was approved by the Charleston Design-Review Board.

The lab would be constructed on Bees Ferry Road in West Ashley and will focus testing in one location as opposed to four different locations that currently conduct forensic examinations, police say.

Forensics labs test evidence taken from crime scenes to solve crimes.

The police department's director of forensic services says right now they are limited in what types of evidence they can test.

Some testing has to be done by the State Law Enforcement Division in Columbia.

Judy Gordon says the new lab will have new technology.

"We're gonna add a DNA lab eventually and be able to do ballistics testing and right now we don't have the facilities to accommodate that," Gordon said.

The price tag for the new 22,000 square foot lab is about $12.4 million, according to City of Charleston spokesman Jack O'Toole.

New Police Chief Reynolds says it's a good investment.

"It will help with the backlog of cases but more importantly it'll help us better investigate crimes and close cases," Reynolds said.

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