Inside the MSP Forensic Lab - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Inside the MSP Forensic Lab

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BRIDGEPORT (WJRT) -

(02/22/13) - They're a key component in the fight against crime, but you probably won't see them in action unless you're at a crime scene.

You might say they're Mid-Michigan's own CSI. But they're not stars in a television show. They're the real deal when it comes to solving crime. They're the men and women at the Michigan State Police Forensic Lab in Bridgeport.

"They're using methods that allow them to collect latent finger prints that can't be see, foot prints or impressions that can't be seen. They use chemicals to find blood splatter that's small and minute," said Lt. Ryan Larrison, lab director.

Inside, you'll see things you might expect from a lab - white coats, microscopes and tons of collected evidence. Detective Sergeant Ken Binder checked guns for prints left behind at a crime scene, while forensic scientist Valerie Bowman processed DNA samples.

"The end product that goes on from this building is the testimony that is offered. Sometimes people do forget where there's an exoneration or where some of the information prevents someone from ever getting to court or having to be tried," Larrison said.

In a lab that serves 14 counties, their case load as you might imagine is tremendous. Larrison says the lab must prioritize. "Assaults, homicides, take priority over others, arsons involving human death take a priority."

Larrison says the Governor has given his OK to fill six lab positions. He hopes that will alleviate the backlog and help his staff deliver results much faster. "We were at 16 before last year, now we have 21 people on staff. That's about a 35 to 40 percent increase in staffing. Once we get them trained, I think we will be looking up in this area."

The lab is made up of MSP troopers and civilian scientists. All have gotten extra training in this line of investigative work.

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