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. Our crime lab is dedicated to providing the county and criminal justice community the most scientifically advanced and technologically proficient investigative capabilities available to date.
Services are provided by personnel at the crime laboratory headquarters located at the Robert A. Christensen Justice Center in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Crime lab capabilities
The crime lab is staffed with four Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). Photography and photographic processing, latent fingerprint processing, crime scene investigation and processing, autopsy evidence collection, crime scene reconstruction, confirmatory drug testing, and evidence examination are just some of the duties carried out by the CSIs.
Crime scene processing and autopsy
When processing crime scenes, crime lab personnel and investigators 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.
CSIs are responsible for responding to all major crime scenes to evaluate, process, photograph, document, collect and preserve evidence. The crime lab also has the capabilities to perform presumptive biological testing, sketching and assist with search warrants.
The Chemistry unit is responsible for identifying suspected drugs for the presence of controlled substances. The chemistry unit can perform presumptive testing and confirmatory testing including, color tests, microscopic examinations, GC/MS and FTIR.
Photography and photo labThe crime scene investigators perform various photographic duties like swearing-in ceremonies, public relations events, aerial photography and videography. The in-house photo lab allows the download of digital photographs, printing of photographs including enlargements and digital video download.
Crime Lab provides the following latent fingerprint services: developing, processing, and identification and 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 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 fingerprints. It is often the most vital piece of evidence to tie a suspect to the scene of a crime.
The crime lab is capable of processing fingerprints with non-invasive exams using the Krime Site Imager (RUVIS Scope), and with powders and chemically enhancing fingerprints.
Visit “fingerprinting” for documentation, not for a criminal matter.
Often times trace evidence can be left behind at a crime scene. The crime lab can collect and document footwear, tools and tire mark evidence and examine it with alternate light sources for trace and biological evidence. In the lab, the CSIs can compare and analyze footwear evidence and also execute serial number restoration.