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Patrol’s Crime Laboratory


Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway

Patrol, would like to highlight the Patrol’s Crime Laboratory Division. The

Patrol’s Crime Laboratory was founded in 1936, and has been providing

quality forensic science services to the state of Missouri for over 70

years. The partnership between law enforcement agencies and the crime

laboratory is a critical relationship in the criminal justice system.

During the first five months of 2007, the DNA Profiling Section analyzed

20,688 convicted offender DNA samples and uploaded them into the Combined

DNA Index System (CODIS). As a result, 276 hits occurred. (A "hit" is when

a forensic unknown is matched to an offender in the database.) These 276

hits translate into investigative leads for 24 homicides, 76 sexual assault

cases, 38 stealing/larceny cases, 90 burglaries, and other types of crimes.

These cases are usually old, unsolved cold cases.

The Crime Laboratory Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol provides

forensic laboratory services in the areas of firearms, toolmarks, latent

fingerprints, DNA, toxicology, trace evidence, and drug chemistry at no

cost to criminal justice agencies at the local, state, and federal levels

through a network of eight strategically located laboratories. The regional

crime laboratories at Cape Girardeau (SEMO) and Joplin (MSSU) have now

merged with the Patrol crime laboratory system. These laboratories were

founded in 1969 and 1971, respectively, with federal funds, and have been

operating with limited state funding combined with funds raised locally.

With the support of Governor Blunt and the Missouri General Assembly,

funding was provided to merge the SEMO crime lab into the MSHP crime lab

system on July 1, 2006 and the MSSU crime lab into the MSHP system July 1,

2007. The merging of these two laboratories into the Patrol system will

ensure the stability of these laboratories and make certain that essential

forensic science services continue to be made available to local law

enforcement agencies in these regions of the state. In addition, the

Patrol is working with the city of Springfield to expand the present

limited service Springfield satellite laboratory into a full service

state-of-the-art forensic laboratory offering all the forensic services

currently available at the Jefferson City lab.

Seventy-five percent of the evidence submitted to the Patrol Crime

Laboratory system is from non-Patrol agencies, such as local police

departments and county sheriff’s offices.

From January 1 to May 31, 2007, law enforcement agencies submitted 9,021

criminal cases to the MSHP Crime Lab system. There were 20,827 individual

items of evidence requiring examination in these cases.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory Division is accredited

by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory

Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The Patrol is working toward achieving

accreditation for the two laboratories recently added to its system.

"The recent changes in our laboratory system increase our forensic analysis

capability 30 percent," said Colonel Keathley. "I’m proud of the Patrol’s

Crime Laboratory Division and satellite laboratories. Our laboratory

personnel are highly trained professionals who apply their training every

day. Their work furthers the Patrol’s mission of service and protection."

’s Crime Laboratory