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Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Other District Leaders Cut Ribbon on New Consolidated Forensic Laboratory

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Other District Leaders Cut Ribbon on New Consolidated Forensic Laboratory

New, State-of-the-Art Facility Improves Efficiency and Public Safety

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today joined City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander and Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon in opening the District’s new Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL), a 351,000-square-foot building in Southwest that consolidates the District’s public safety forensic science and public health efforts into a single world-class, state-of-the-art facility.

“This facility will improve public safety by creating efficiencies and offering the best equipment and technology that the forensic field has to offer,” said Mayor Gray. “I’m proud it is now serving the people of the District of Columbia.”

The CFL houses the Department of Forensic Sciences, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the Metropolitan Police Department’s crime-scene units under one roof. It will play a vital role in advancing and improving public safety support, crime-scene investigation and public health in the District by bringing previously separated departments, units and laboratories together under one roof and improving efficiency and the delivery of quality services.

The new Department of Forensic Sciences includes the Forensic Crime Lab DNA, firearms, fingerprint and trace evidence units as well as the Public Health Laboratory for the District.

The new department’s director, Dr. Max Houck, said the new facility is a wise use of resources. “The CFL will provide an unprecedented level of science – helping to make the District’s citizens and workers safer, proving better information for investigations and increasing transparency for the justice system. The CFL and its constituent agencies support the effective allocation of the District's resources, allowing each segment of the criminal justice system to focus on what they do best.”

“The Consolidated Forensic Laboratory will provide all agency stakeholders the platform for enhanced services in the public safety and health arenas,” said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Marie Pierre-Louis. “Over the past few years, the OCME has implemented several technology innovations and, as we transition to the CFL, we look forward to continuing to enhance technological advances toward premier death investigation and certification.”

“The new laboratory will increase efficiency in evidence processing – from collection to analysis,” said Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “This is a tremendous benefit for victims, criminal investigators and our criminal-justice system stakeholders. The Metropolitan Police Department’s evidence technicians will be co-located with laboratory personnel, thus providing even more enhanced efficiency.”