Capt. Dawn Powell
P.O. Box 1120
Covington, LA 70434 985-276-1206
Email us at email@example.com
Since taking office in 1996, Sheriff Jack Strain has taken a tough stand against crime. One of his many goals in being pro-active was to develop a state of the art crime laboratory in St. Tammany Parish. Funds generated through property taxes and grant monies were used to purchase valuable equipment and the latest in modern technology designed to solve crimes of every caliber and category.
Today, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab is one of only seven in the State of Louisiana. It provides our judicial system with court qualified experts for criminal prosecution of crimes and is dedicated to providing prompt scientific analytical services to the citizens of St. Tammany Parish.
The Crime Lab is a modern analytical facility comprised of eight sections:
The Crime Scene Unit is responsible for responding to offenses ranging from simple thefts to homicides. The technicians are also cross-trained in fingerprint analysis. The Crime Lab has access to the state database as well as the federal database which gives our agency a unique advantage.
The Drug Analysis section is equipped with two GC/MCs and a FTIR along with examination scopes and training scopes. This equipment can determine the presence of controlled dangerous substances and associated organic compounds. The lab works closely with local law enforcement agencies as well as federal law enforcement agencies assisting in the prosecution of defendants for drug related crimes.
The Firearms/Tool Mark Analysis Section test fires all seized firearms and uses these test fire projectiles for entry in a Federal (ATF) Integrated Ballistics Identification System. Along with entry and examination, the analysts do serial number restorations on firearms and other metal objects where the serial number has been obliterated. This section also includes a weapons discharge tank, comparison microscopes and computer software for use in comparisons and training scopes.
The Trace Evidence Section is responsible for comparison of microscopic material collected from evidence and/or crime scenes, then comparing it to known material. Hair and fibers are the two most common types of evidence examined. The trace evidence analyst assists crime scene technicians with proper collection and preservation of evidence so it may be properly examined.
The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Analyst is utilized for the determination and examination of primer gunshot residue on evidence. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has the only operating SEM in the state of Louisiana.
The Evidence Officers are responsible for collecting, preserving and ensuring that the evidence is delivered safely and appropriately. The evidence is collected, then inspected and entered into the computer system before it is released to the proper examiner.
All sections of the St. Tammany Parish Crime Lab are afforded up to date training opportunities at seminars and training facilities all over the country. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to expanding the knowledge of its employees with progressive technological advancements, which in turn, has directly reduced crime in the parish through scientifically proven, comprehensive solutions, resulting in rapid apprehension and arrest.