Mobile Crime Lab Team Preps for RNC
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Mobile Crime Scene Lab has high-tech equipment that looks like it came right out of an episode of TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is preparing for its role at the Republican National Convention's big kickoff party coming up Sunday, Aug. 26 at Tropicana Field. The sheriff's office will be sending its Mobile Crime Lab to the Trop to be used as a command post for the Pinellas County Corrections Center, according to Lisa Wentz, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Forensic Sciences Manager.
Patch was recently given a special tour inside the 42 foot-long custom-made lab with John Mauro, who is the Forensic Sciences Supervisor at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Mauro designed the lab with the input of his co-workers.
"A lot of people put time and effort into this and it paid off, it's helped us at many a crime scene," he said.
The lab has high-tech equipment that looks like it came right out of an episode of TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, including a Crimescope, which is used to identify hard-to-see fibers. There's also a glass-enclosed chamber that allows forensic specialists to safely work with chemicals. And, inside another glass-enclosed chamber, specialists use an adhesive called cyanoacrylate to identify latent fingerprints on items. On the day of Patch's tour in the lab, a handprint was visible on a clear plastic bag that had been treated with cyanoacrylate and was hanging inside the chamber.
Mauro says the lab is self-sufficient with its own generator and water supply system. Other features include a meeting area, wireless phones, metal detectors, tvs, radios, and a lab area with photo imaging capabilities.
Forensic specialists can use a secure network to transmit crime scene photos and fingerprints back to the sheriff's office forensic imaging lab in Clearwater, where specialists there begin the process of identifying the evidence.
"The mobile crime lab gives us an advantage when we're out in the field to begin the processing of evidence while we're still at the scene," he said.
The crime lab was also designed to get the most use from a small space. The walls, doors and cabinets double as dry-erase boards. A rod that is used to hang maps can be pulled out from a pocket door. A smart board at the end of a conference table displays video and can also be used as a dry erase board.
Mauro says he and the forensic specialists are glad to have so much equipment available for their use.
"We are overjoyed that we have this magnificent tool to work with at our crime scenes," said Mauro.
The Republican National Convention will be held Aug. 27-30 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in downtown Tampa.
- 10 Reasons Why RNC Delegates Will Love Palm Harbor
- Local Company Hoping to Send RNC Delegates Home with Souvenirs
- Palm Harbor Will Host Two RNC Delegations
- Large RNC 'Event Zone' in St. Pete Planned
- Can Tampa Bay Handle 15,000 Noisy Protesters at the RNC?