Texas DPS is going CSI - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas DPS is going CSI

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

GARLAND, TX (KLTV) - It's entertainment TV. They take a crime, a clue, and an hour to solve a case, hardly reality...or is it? A brand new crime lab for Texas DPS may not be the stuff of TV magic, but it is pretty close.

"Each station is equipped to do the manual extraction," explained Allan Polunsky. "Over here we have a robotics system."

That's right, a crime solving robot. The moving arm exposes substances to chemicals which break down DNA. One of the many new tools helping solve cases.

"I am grateful to all of those who have worked together to bring this new state-of-the-art lab building to fruition," said Polunsky.

A snip with some oversized scissors made it official. Texas DPS is going CSI.

Law enforcement in 40 counties, from Wichita Falls to Texarkana will now send their evidence to Dallas to be looked in the DPS Dallas crime lab, where forensic techniques have never stopped improving.

"After latent fingerprint technology, mettalurgy, and after it came trace evidence." explained Polunsky.

New in-house firearm and fingerprint study labs eliminate outsourcing to Austin and give more room for personnel. DPS says a 25% to 50% rise in certain lab sections.

Mysterious substances don't stand a chance in the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. The $80,000 machine heats drugs to almost 600 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking them down to mere molecules for identification, a forensic chemist's dream, a criminal's nightmare.

Specialists and technicians will have their first day of work in the multimillion dollar lab Monday, but not before some serious spring cleaning.

Due to the open house Friday morning, crews must sterilize every single inch of lab interiors to make sure future evidence isn't contaminated.

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