New SeMo Crime Lab Dedicated

September 15, 2003 - Posted at: 8:21 a.m. CDT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- A dedication ceremony was held Saturday in Cape Girardeau to mark the opening of a new state-of-the-art Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Laboratory.

The building in which the new lab is located, the Tlapek Building, is a former warehouse owned by the Southeast Missouri State University.  Part of the building has been remodeled and upgraded into a modern facility thanks to a $1.98 million federal earmark from the National Institute of Justice, an arm of the Department of Justice that deals with forensic sciences.

"If it weren't for the federal money, we would not have been able to do it," said Dr. Robert Briner, director of the crime lab, who credited U.S. Senator "Kit" Bond for his efforts in securing substantial federal aid for the expansion.

In addition, SMSU and the state of Missouri have supplied more than $350,000 and city and county governments have pledged approximately $250,000.  The new lab is situated in about 8,000 square feet of space, compared to about 2,000 square feet in the previous location.

The lab provides testing for drugs, firearms examinations, blood/body fluids, serology, trace evidence, arson, fingerprints, alcohol in blood, urine toxicology and DNA.