CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Forensic scientists at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are working hard piecing together evidence from crime scenes in Charlotte.
Close to 40 scientists, technicians, and support staff are part of the team. Matthew Mathis works with the team and says they can check a variety of different tasks including DNA, drug, and blood alcohol testing right inside a lab at CMPD.
“These scientists analyze evidence collected from crime scenes suspects and victims to provide information to detectors to help further investigations and to assist with resolving unanswered questions,” Mathis said.
So far this year, the department has processed more than 10,000 evidence items ranging from property damage to sexual assault cases. Keith Martin says last year more than 20,000 items were collected and put into a database where it’s tracked and could be linked to a crime.
“There have been two homicides this year that we crime scene unit has responded to. They have retrieved latent print evidence from the scene that was then sent to our lab here at CMPD. That yielded a quick identification of the suspect and the case giving detectives a lead to work on and direction to move toward,” said Martin.
The lab and scientists are helping bring suspects to justice. It’s National Forensic Week and police officer Tom Hildebrand says their guys are working hard to solve crimes in the Queen City.
“It’s a partnership between several different units within CMPD that ultimately help solve the cases that our officers and detectives work so hard on. We’re proud of our crime scene unit as well as our crime lab and feel very fortunate to have the resources that we do here at CMPD,” Hildebrand said.
Right now, detectives are testing and uploading data from seized weapons despite the crime it’s involved in and that’s to keep up with the weapon just in case it may have been involved in crime.