New Mexico Opens New Forensic Crime Lab In Santa Fe
Law enforcement officials from around the state joined Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday to cut the ribbon on the state’s new Department of Public Safety Forensic Lab.
The 44-thousand square foot facility on Galisteo Street in Santa Fe is over three times the size of its previous location and was built specifically for forensic laboratory research.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen says the expanded forensic information will go far in tracking down and convicting criminals.
“As far as going from beginning to end, when you get a case with organized crime and violent crime we know that there’s organized networks. It’s not just one person. It expands all over New Mexico,” he said. “When we start adding up the evidence, exculpatory evidence, trace evidence, all of the above we know we can get the other bad actors and make sure they are held accountable, so this is a large accomplishment for all of us.
Lujan Grisham says the new building allows for more staff and forensic scientists to be hired to investigate crime evidence and bring more people to justice.
She says to expect a robust budget request for capital investments for public safety during next year’s 30-day legislative session.
Lujan Grisham and the Legislature secured funding for the $29 million facility in 2019. It will support more than 300 agencies, including local, state and federal law enforcement and criminal justice and court systems by analyzing forensic evidence collected at crime scenes. Scientists will present their scientific findings in court. It will be the largest of the state’s three forensic laboratories and the only one to process non-drug-related evidence like DNA, firearms and fingerprints.