Warner Robins Crime Lab on the Cutting Edge in Georgia | News
Crime Scene Investigation is taking a leap forward in Warner Robins.
The new Law Enforcement Center opened the floodgates for the department's team of forensic investigators.
"Before this facility was even constructed, we had 98 percent of the equipment ready," said Captain John Lanneau.
Supervisor in the Criminalistics division, Lanneau sat on "go" for at least six years.
"Things were in boxes and things were in storage," said Lanneau.
In 2010, new equipment went unused in the cramped quarters of the old crime lab, while city government haggled over construction of the new law enforcement center.
Finally, it opened this year with a crime lab four times the size of the last.
The crime scene team didn't have to wait to buy equipment. They'd been stockpiling it through grants and budget requests for years.
"We're happy. We're so excited," said investigator Juan Herrera.
He says it's cleaner and more efficient. It benefits both the CSIs, and the community they serve.
"We can go ahead and expedite some of those cases," said Herrera.
The space, and the technology in it, is moving them toward greater independence.
Newly-hired chemist, Larry Majette, can test blood samples and get results from them in six minutes. That's compared with the month, or more, it takes when they're sent to the GBI lab.
"Warner Robins is one of the first police departments trying to do this," said Majette.
And they can't do it yet.
Much of this technology requires the rigors of an 18-month state accreditation process. After years of waiting, a matter of months doesn't seem too much longer.
Captain Lanneau says they hope to earn accreditation by the Spring of 2015. He says if they do, they'll be the first local police department in the state with capability of processing their own blood-alcohol tests.