CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A new crime scene tech team is now operating in Calhoun County. The team was created to better serve the community and improve the processing of major crime scenes. The crime lab will be housed at the Marshall Law Enforcement Center.
Thursday was the last day of training for the new team. The three-day training process was done at the Marshall Law Enforcement Center. Two deputies from Calhoun County and two officers from the Albion Police Department will now respond to major crimes across the county.
Albion Police Deputy Chief Jason Kern said, “We took what we had and put it together with what the Sheriff’s Department had, and we’re getting a vehicle from the military.”
Deputy Chief Kern says when a major crime happens in the county, the Michigan State Police or Battle Creek Police typically respond for scene processing. Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bryan Gandy says that means sometimes scenes have to sit for hours. This new team will handle many of those cases instead.
“If we can get there quickly, the evidence is obviously going to be better because it’s not going to be changed or destroyed in any way,” Det. Gandy said.
“Being able to secure it and ensure the chain of custody is crucial,” Deputy Chief Kern said. “Also to preserve it from any contamination.”
The basic training the team received this week will ensure they have the tools to collect blood, fingerprints and footprints, as well as identify materials found at a scene. In the coming months and years they’ll have more training.
Deputy Chief Kern says funding required for the team was minimal. The crime lab was already in the process of being put together, the vehicle was donated, and the departments already had many of the tools. He says it’s a win-win for taxpayers.
“For us to take on the financial obligations, if we tried to do this on our own, is just impractical,” he said. “If we do it together then we can actually make it happen.”
While the crime lab is still being set up, it is fully functional and was already used to process evidence this week.