The Long Beach Police Department’s crime lab will be seeing some upgrades thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ), authorities announced Thursday.
“We are grateful to the Department of Justice for awarding this grant to our Department,” police Chief Robert Luna stated. “Our crime lab plays a critical role in assisting detectives in solving crime, and these funds will help us provide better service to victims, as well as our entire community.”
The DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs awarded the LBPD’s Forensic Science Services Division’s crime laboratory $50,011 from the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, a national and competitive program focused on improving the efficiency, quality and abilities of crime laboratories, officials stated.
With the funds, the department is now in the process of training its personnel and purchasing new software.
A training class will be held in March and April 2016 at the Long Beach Police Academy focusing on bloodstain pattern analysis and shooting incident reconstruction for crime scene analysts, officials stated.
The classes will be contracted through a private company and be available to department personnel as well as other law enforcement employees in the region. For more information, agencies can contact Bevel, Gardner and Associates Inc. at 405.706.8489 or visit www.bevelgardner.com.
The department also plans to purchase FARO Reality software and a computer capable of operating it, which officials say will allow the lab to fully use its current crime scene documentation equipment. With this system, scans of crime scenes can be rendered into 3D models for documentation, measurements and court display purposes. Two lab analysts are scheduled to attend a training on how to use the software.
Part of the grant money will also go toward purchasing a high-speed document scanner in order to scan older case files into a digital format and be used as a backup in the event of damage or loss.
New laptops will also be purchased to replace aging computers that no longer support current operating systems and programs.
The department applied for the grant in March 2015 and was subsequently awarded the money in September. The Long Beach City Council officially accepted the funding in December.
"We’re extremely proud of our Crime Lab and our entire Department for the work they do to keep our city safe, and this grant will enhance and expand that work,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “My thanks to the Justice Department for this recognition and the opportunities it will provide.”
For more information regarding the grant, contact the LBPD’s Media Relations Detail at 562.570.5273.