Published: August 3, 2023
By: Emily Goodell
ZILLAH, Wash. — Yakima County's law enforcement officers and government officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited Yakima Valley Local Crime Lab at the sheriff's office substation in Zillah.
Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell said it's the first local crime lab in Washington state and will give local law enforcement the ability to process its own evidence within hours in order to get investigative leads faster, instead of waiting months or potentially over a year to get results back.
"Otherwise, investigations stall, they wait, they get stale, witnesses disappear," Udell said. "If we have that information upfront, that's a big deal."
Udell said the crime lab has a staff of three — two analysts and a lab manager — responsible for overseeing operations, including the new equipment they'll be using to process firearms evidence.
"What we're going to be able to do is is regionally be able to take care of the evidence cartridge cases and the testfire from firearms that are seized that shooting scenes, put them into this NIBIN system, which is the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network and what that does is it will be able to give associations to other shooting scenes to investigators in a timely manner," Yakima Valley Local Crime Lab laboratory manager Kathy Geil said.
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