|Forensic Sciences / K-9 Facility Media Tour|
June 16, 2011
Welcome & thank you for coming to tour our new K-9 and Forensic Science Division facilities in the renovated Thomas Fitzgerald Home.
Before we begin I would like to introduce some elected and County Government Officials that are with us today.
County Board Chair MaryAnn Borgeson
County Commissioner Pam Tusa
County Attorney Don Kleine
Chief Deputy Marty Bilek
Capt Steve Glandt, who will introduce our construction project partners later
K-9 Sgt Ed VanBuren
Forensic Science Division Director Tracy Ray
County Bldg Services Director Jerry Leahy
Ass’t County Bldg Services Director Jeff McGill
This Bldg is an 80+ yr old structure that was once the Clearview home for the Poor, then the minimum Security Do Co Jail, and finally the Veterans Home & Hospital. It was a very solid structure, but outdated with respect to bldg codes, Heating & Air Conditioning, electrical etc. I think you will see our construction partners did an outstanding job in making this a beautiful facility that will enhance our capabilities to grow with technology and future demands.
This was an approximately 2 yr project from design to meeting the completion date. And I am proud to say that this was accomplished with being $70K under Budget. This was the very first project in this state that was 100% funded with seized Drug-Dealer dollars and not one dollar coming from the taxpayers.
I hope you can appreciate that this was a needed project for our local economy during a time when jobs were becoming scarce and construction work was fading.
I would be extremely remiss if I did not recognize the efforts of our K-9 Unit that funded this project through their tenacious efforts in enforcement on our local Interstate 80. Just to give you a glimpse of our K-9 Units success in 2009 & 2010 they seized $4.6 million in currency. In 2009 alone they seized 19 vehicles, 459 lbs of MJ, and 27 lbs of Meth, 4 lbs of heroin and 225 lbs of cocaine.
Our K-9 Unit that was started in approximately 1996 has never had a home to include even a desk. They have always had to share someone else’s desk, share storage and share training space. They deserve to have a space of their own and now have a very nice location.
I want to recognize Capt Glandt, who had oversight of the project from our agency and spent countless hours going over various aspects to insure what we wanted was accomplished. I also want to thank Jerry Leahy and Jeff McGill for their expertise an oversight as well.
Our Forensic Science Division is now led by a very competent individual by the name of Tracey Ray. She comes to us from Charlottte/Mecklenberg and has an outstanding background to include ASCLD Accreditation. She is preparing us for that certification that we hope to attain somewhere in the area of late 2012 or early 2013.
Tracey has already taken us to a new level of accountability by separating the duties of crime scene personnel and lab personnel. This will insure that a check and balance of accountability will occur.
Our Forensic Sciences Division currently provides:
Latent print processing and comparison
Controlled substance analysis
Fire Debris Analysis
Limited Trace Evidence and
Video/ audio analysis
Services we will be adding in the future are:
Limited toxicology (hair testing and basic drug screen)
Serial number restoration
Additional Trace Evidence
Firearms Analysis and
One of our county commissioners has said that the bulk of our forensic services are performed for our 21 outside agencies clients. This is simply false. Over 60% of our work is performed for our own agency.
I think you will find the Forensic Science Division to be State of the Art and we are very proud of how it looks.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank the County Board for allowing us to engage in this project. When we began this discussion, if you remember, are economy was in terrible shape. The very thought of a Capital Expenditure project was highly unlikely. When I approached the County Board and told them we wanted to do this project they looked at me like I was nuts. When I told them that we were paying cash they looked at me with a very puzzled look and when I told them I was serious I know they must have thought there was a catch. So thank you for believing in us.
We are planning an Open House for our Clients on Tuesday July 12th from 10-noon and an Open House for the Public on Tuesday July 12th 1PM – 3 PM.
I would like to introduce the Administrative Services Committee Chair, Commissioner Pam Tusa
Now I would like to introduce Douglas County Atty Don Kleine for a few remarks
Captain Steve Glandt will introduce our Construction Project Partners
Douglas County Board Chair Person Mary Ann Borgeson
Tour Forensic Sciences Division
Meet back in the Media Room for a Q & A.