Forensic Science Week, September 18-24, is acknowledged throughout the United States and recognizes the contribution that forensic science makes to the criminal justice system. This week is an opportunity for the Grand Junction Police Department to honor the outstanding forensic science professionals that serve our agency, working hard each day to identify the guilty, exonerate the innocent, and bring resolution, clarity, and closure to cases.
The GJPD has several members who are part of the forensic community, including our Property/Lab and Forensic Investigation Team. This team is made up of a group of experts who respond to crime scenes to process and collect evidence, maintain the integrity of evidence submitted, and perform analysis on controlled substances, digital evidence, serology, and latent prints. Most of the time, these individuals work behind the scenes, maintaining evidence and processing items long after the initial crime was committed. In 2021, they processed a total of 46 crime scenes, roughly one a week!
- Our evidence technicians are currently in charge of all items of evidence submitted to the GJPD, averaging over 19,000 items submitted each year.
- They have also been tasked with keeping track of all body-worn camera footage, as well as over 225,000 items of digital evidence.
- In the past 20 years, our evidence submission rate has increased by 150%.
- All our evidence technicians are Certified Evidence Specialists through the International Association of Property and Evidence.
- Our chemists are the longest-tenured chemists stationed at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which includes Denver, Pueblo, and Northern Lab offices.
- They process approximately 1800 pieces of evidence a year.
- In addition to analyzing evidence for the GJPD, they also process evidence for many other agencies throughout the Western Slope, from Steamboat Springs to Durango, which assists CBI in keeping the Chemistry backlog down.
- Both chemists have been trained or are currently training in other disciplines, including Serology and Digital Forensics.
- Our Digital Lab processes all types of digital evidence from cell phones, computers, and gaming consoles to surveillance videos, and more.
- With an extremely heavy workload for this team, we were able to add a second Digital Lab Technician in 2021, amplifying our ability to increase productivity and turn around.
- Since January 2022, they have processed over 10 TB of digital evidence.
We hope you'll join us in acknowledging the amazing work these individuals do daily and share our pride in having these highly skilled individuals serving right here in Grand Junction. We truly couldn’t do our job, without them!