WSP Crime Lab solves crime scene puzzles - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WSP Crime Lab solves crime scene puzzles

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Washington State Patrol's mobile crime lab drives all over Eastern Washington. Washington State Patrol's mobile crime lab drives all over Eastern Washington.
CHENEY, Wash. -

The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Cheney is one of seven crime laboratories in Washington state. The scientists that work here say the process they use to collect and analyze evidence is far from a short one.

The first step when the forensic team is scientists are called out to a crime scene is collecting evidence. Unlike the TV show "CSI," their work is slow, and painstaking. "It's pretty methodical," explained Forensic Scientist Trevor Allen. "We'll go through piece by piece, slowly uncover until we find what we're looking for."

As they try to put together a crime puzzle, sometimes the team doesn't even know what those pieces are. They look for anything they can find that might help investigators.

Most of their field work is done out of a mobile lab, since they drive all over Eastern Washington. The van houses everything they might need out on the road, or at a crime scene.

Once they have gathered all the evidence they need, they head back to their lab in Cheney, and send it to one of the seven sections to be processed. There are Crime Scene, Fingerprint, Controlled Substance, Question Documents, Firearms, DNA and Microanalysis sections for the scientists to categorize their evidence in. The WSP lab in Cheney is the only lab in Washington that has all of these units. The scientists are meticulous in their work, but the time spent is all in effort to fit those pieces together to build the most accurate picture of what happened.

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