SEMO Crime Lab is Upgraded

SEMO Crime Lab is Upgraded
By: Wes Wallace
Cape Girardeau, MO - For fans of CBS's hit series "CSI", it's fun to watch the investigators piece it all together. Whether it's Miami, Las Vegas, New York City, or places in between, the cases seem to get solved in less than sixty minutes. However, in real life it's a much tougher and slower job for forensic scientists...even with the help of high tech tools.
"It kinda brought us into the 21st Century," explains David Warren, a forensic examiner with the SEMO Crime Lab, "Prior to getting this new one, we were using an old optic scope from the 1970's, and a micrometer from World War Two."
Warren's not kidding. The antique blue color and the dated look of the old equipment speaks volumes about the age. Compared to the new comparison microscope, Warren says the tools are light years apart. "We can look for specific, individual characteristics, because the optics are so much better and it's motor driven."

That's not the most impressive part, though. Used in the firearms division of the crime lab, this new microscope and computer software can take digital picture. Before, the lab examiners had to rely on taking Polaroid pictures. "This is a big plus to have it hooked to the computer system, where we can take and store photos to be used as evidence in court as needed."
Lab Director Pam Johnson says most of the money to run the day to day operations comes from local funding. In order to get new equipment, the lab uses federal grant money.