In 2014 the Rhode Island State Police purchased a custom-built mobile crime laboratory through the use of federal forfeiture funds. This vehicle replaced an aging and obsolete twenty-two year old crime scene van. In addition to State Police investigations, the mobile crime laboratory is deployed at the request of local police departments throughout the state.
Most crime scene vehicles in use today are used solely to transport personnel and equipment to a scene and then bring evidence back to a laboratory to be processed. This new mobile crime laboratory enables detectives to inspect and analyze evidence while still at the crime scene, which greatly enhances the capabilities and efficiency of crime scene investigations.
The State Police Mobile Crime Laboratory contains workstations that allow for:
In addition, the vehicle has ample storage for crime scene equipment such as alternate light sources, gunshot residue collection kits, laser measuring devices, bullet trajectory kits, crime scene documentation kits, DNA collection kits, presumptive blood and seminal fluid test kits, personal protection gear, evidence collection bags and dedicated evidence storage locations. The vehicle is also equipped with an onboard generator capable of powering all of the onboard equipment and additional scene lights.
The Rhode Island State Police Criminal Identification Unit is currently the only police forensic unit in the State of Rhode Island that is accredited in the areas of crime scene investigation, latent prints, footwear and tire impressions.
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