In conjunction with National Forensic Science Week, the State Crime Lab in Missoula plans a public open house Thursday, Aug. 15, from 1 to 3 p.m.
“It’s important that we recognize the role that forensic science plays in the investigation of crimes in Montana,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “I encourage the public to learn more about forensic science and the vital part our State Crime Lab has in helping the justice system exonerate the innocent and identify the guilty.”
Activities planned for the open house include lab tours and Q&A with the lab’s scientists; demonstrations by the lab’s latent print analysts on how attendees can lift their fingerprints, as well as how to roll fingerprints, similar to an arrest situation; and demonstrations on how hand-held breath alcohol devices and Intoxilizer instruments work.
The State Crime Lab is part of the Montana Department of Justice. It employs 29 scientists and technicians, who, with the assistance of six administrative staff, processed nearly 7,600 cases last year. “Each year, more and more cases are submitted to the State Crime Lab for analysis,” said Laboratory Administrator Dr. Phil Kinsey. “We invite the public to meet our staff, tour the lab, and interact with the scientists who provide quality forensic services to the citizens of Montana.”
The lab is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD).* Each of its sections specializes in a different element of forensic science, including: Breath alcohol, drug chemistry, firearms and tool marks, latent prints and impressions, pathology, serology/DNA, toxicology, and trace evidence.
The State Crime Lab is located at 2679 Palmer St. For more information regarding the open house, call 728-4970.
[*Note: the accrediting body is the American Society of Crime Laboratory Director – LABORATORY ACCREDITATION BOARD, or ASCLD/LAB.]