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Crime Lab Section

Cime Lab Vehicle

The Aurora Police Crime Lab is a limited service laboratory. Its 22 employees provide a variety of forensic services to the Department. The Laboratory averages about 4,000 requests for service annually.

Crime Scene Investigations (CSI)

The Crime Scene Investigators average about 2,700 calls per year. These highly-skilled people respond to crime scenes to document the scene through photography, videography, sketching and report writing. They identify, collect, package and preserve evidence from crime scenes. Crime scene reconstruction along with bloodstain pattern analysis can be done as needed.

Firearms Examination

The firearms examiner does comparisons of bullets and casings from crime scenes to see if they were fired by a suspect weapon. They also enter bullet and casing information into the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) to see if there is a match to the bullet or casing from our crime scene to another violent crime scene somewhere else in the United States, region by region. They can do function testing on weapons, shot pattern testing, distance determination, and tool to tool mark comparisons.

Forensic Chemistry

The majority of work in the chemistry lab deals with drug analysis, both quantitative (how much of something is in the sample) and qualitative (is there a certain substance in the sample, for instance a particular drug or chemical). The unit also does blood alcohol analysis.

Latent Print Examination

These are the experts who compare prints from crime scenes (latent prints) to fingerprints from suspects. They can use the Automated Fingerprint identification System (AFIS) to search the Colorado Bureau of Identification database of fingerprints to search for a match if the suspect is unknown.

Questioned Documents Examination

This unit does forensic examination of documents such as checks, wills, deeds, or other kinds of documents. They can examine and writing comparisons and ink analysis. They work with indented writing, charred or obliterated documents and printer comparisons.

The Crime Lab houses a complete photo lab and a full time photography expert. The developing and printing of all crime scene photographs is done here. Our photographer serves as an advisor on special needs photographs such as infra-red and ultraviolet photography. Additionally, the lab photographer provides photography during special Department events. 

Video Enhancement

Analog or digital video can be processed in this unit. Photographs obtained from either a still camera or a video can be enhanced. Enhancements can clean up an image to allow for identification of a suspect or bring out other important details in images. Modern computer equipment works hand in hand with century old photographic developing skills to make these enhancements.

Polygraph Examination

The polygraph can be used as an investigative tool for the detectives. A skilled polygraph examiner can use the machine to determine if someone is being deceptive while answering questions. 

Unified Metropolitan Forensic Crime Lab

Groundbreaking for the 26,500-square-foot building was in May 2017, and construction began in September 2017. The new crime lab located at 8555 Double Helix Court, in the Meridian Business Park, will provide DNA analysis, chemistry, fingerprint analysis, document examination, firearms examination and other lab services for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, the Aurora Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office of the 18th Judicial District. 

“It wasn’t always easy, but at the same time, everyone understood what the mission was and what the final goal would be. It made it easy to continue to move forward with that,” Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We are three different agencies, but in a lot of ways we are one, and that’s an important part. There are so many areas in our country where you don’t see that kind of law enforcement cooperation or, for that matter, government cooperation. We are very fortunate here, and this is an example of how that came to be.”
 

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