Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and New Mexico Department of Public Safety Forensic Crime Laboratory Bureau Chief Katharina Babcock tour the new Forensic Crime Laboratory before a ribbon cutting ceremony today in Santa Fe. Photo by David Lienemann-Courtesy/Governor’s Office
From the Office of the Governor:
- The new laboratory will quadruple processing capacity
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham celebrated the opening today of the state’s new forensic laboratory.
“This new facility empowers law enforcement to solve more crimes more quickly. Put simply: this is life-saving work,” Lujan Grisham said. “Violent crime is down across our state overall, but we must continue working to ensure every New Mexican is safe in their community. The forensic laboratory is just one component of an all-of-the-above strategy to drive down crime in our state.
The new 44,000 square foot laboratory is four times the size of the existing laboratory, which is situated in a repurposed office building. Gov. Lujan Grisham and the Legislature secured funding for the $29 million facility in 2019. It will support more than 300 agencies, including local, state and federal law enforcement and criminal justice and court systems by analyzing forensic evidence collected at crime scenes; scientists will present their scientific findings in court. It will be the largest of the state’s three forensic laboratories and the only one to process non-drug-related evidence like DNA, firearms and fingerprints.
“This new laboratory modernizes a critical element of the criminal justice system, and its impact on crime in New Mexico will be exceptional,” said Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Jason R. Bowie. “Our responsibility is to safeguard that justice is being served in New Mexico communities, law enforcement and courts. Endowing our scientists with adequate space to examine and analyze crime scene evidence is critical.”
“We know when we send evidence to this laboratory it will be handled professionally and processed efficiently, and having this new space will strengthen all of our abilities to fight crime in New Mexico,” Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said.
Bradbury Stamm Construction, Inc., New Mexico’s largest women-owned business and the oldest construction firm in the state, was the construction contractor.
Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (D/P/S), a multi-disciplinary firm has provided architecture, landscape architecture, planning, interior design, and structural engineering services for the project. For specialized expertise in forensic labs, D/P/S collaborated with Crime Lab Design, which provides comprehensive lab planning services for forensic science and criminal justice facilities. The team used their respective talents to deliver an integrated design approach.
Civil engineering services were provided by Bohannan Huston, Inc., and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering was provided by Bridgers & Paxton.