Forensics is a part of policing that was once relegated to the basements, garages and back rooms of stations across the province.
That is no longer the case.
April 17, a newly constructed 13,510 building was officially opened at Long Sault. This is the last of 13 forensic services facilities that have been constructed across the province. The new local facility, is a stand-alone building located across the street from the Long Sault OPP detachment.
On hand for the official opening ceremony were the OPP’s top cops, including OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis. The 100 invited guests included area dignitaries, media and retired members of the Ontario Provincial Police force.
“The proper collection, analysis and storage of physical evidence is essential to solving modern crime and keeping dangerous offenders off the street,” said Lewis.
OPP Forensic Identification Services are responsible for collecting physical evidence at crime scenes and storing it until trial.
Advances in forensics and its importance in prosecuting offenders now have the units operating in new buildings with advanced tools to analyze evidence and solve crimes.
The building includes a lab area with three biohazard suites which are used to keep evidence related to the crime scene, the victim and the suspect separate.
A chemical room, photo studio, multimedia room, multi-function storage room are also included in the building.
A bloodstain room provides space for investigators to conduct bloodstain pattern analysis.
Most impressed by the new facility were the retired officers who remember the ‘old days of forensics’.
“You guys remember the days when body parts were stored in the same fridge as your lunch,” said Lewis to a crowd of retired officers nodding in agreement.
The Forensics unit at Long Sault is staffed by four constables and one sergeant. It is shared with the Belleville and Perth units.