The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab provides state-of-the-art forensic analytical and investigative capabilities, and expert testimony on matters related to the investigation, resolution and prosecution of crimes.
Services are provided by personnel at the crime laboratory headquarters located at the Robert A. Christensen Justice Center, Castle Rock, Colorado.
We currently staff four Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), all of which have diverse educational backgrounds and experience.
With one call to our lab, law enforcement agencies within Douglas County, District Attorneys, courts and surrounding county agencies can access a full range of crime lab services to include crime scene investigative assistance, photography, computerized data bases and evidence evaluation. Each of the “CSI’s” are on-call one week out of the month, on a rotation, and are essentially available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Our crime lab is dedicated to providing the entire County and criminal justice community the most scientifically advanced and technologically proficient investigative capabilities available to date.
CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS
Crime Scene Investigators are responsible for responding to all major crime scenes to evaluate, process, photograph, document, collect and preserve evidence.
The CSIs also perform various photographic assignments to include swearing-in ceremonies and other areas of public relations that occur within the County. The CSIs provide digital photography, videography and aerial photography, when necessary. The Sheriff’s Office in-house photography lab allows us to process all photographs and custom print them, in addition to video production and enhancement.
In processing crime scenes, crime lab personnel, along with investigators, respond to the crime scene to collect and preserve physical evidence for future evaluation and examination. They also attend autopsies in all criminal cases to take photographs, and collect any additional evidence.
The CSI’s conduct presumptive chemical analyses on all controlled substances that come into the lab. Recently we received a State and Federal Grant, which allowed us to purchase equipment needed to conduct confirmatory drug testing on all controlled substances submitted to the Crime Lab as well as several other types of forensic testing.
Another service provided is latent fingerprint developing, processing, and identification, to include entry of unknown latent fingerprint impressions into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). AFIS is a computerized system utilized for encoding, storing, searching and matching fingerprint images throughout the state of Colorado. Society recognized that people’s fingerprints hold undeniable, unchangeable evidence of their identity. However, the fingerprint identification process has naturally broadened to a much greater scale. While the human eye is an important part of fingerprint analysis, the AFIS has taken over and assisted the investigator in identifying someone more quickly and efficiently.
Investigators have solved thousands of crimes around the world with the help of a fingerprint. It is often the most vital piece of evidence to tie a suspect to the scene of a crime. Although, in Colorado, with such a dry climate, it does seem to prove it is more difficult to obtain a latent fingerprint.