Criminals Beware; Yakima’s New Crime Lab is Open
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held Thursday for Yakima's new regional crime lab open in Zillah.
Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell is the Chair of the regional crime lab operations board who says they're looking forward to solving cases and making arrests with the new tools in the lab. "This project is perhaps the most exciting opportunity to reduce crime in the Yakima Valley that I’ve worked on in my career,” says Udell.
A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT EQUIPMENT NOW AVAILABLE TO SOLVE CRIME
The highly specialized equipment will help identify shell casings found in area shootings. Another machine will give investigators a rapid DNA test result and a third computer program will allow detectives to search and analyze criminals cellphones.
Udell says they're the kind of crime fighting tools that have never been available in Yakima County.
THE LAB MANAGER HAS LOTS OF EXPERIENCE
Along with the new tools the person who now is in charge of the lab has lots of regional and national credibility and experience. A press release says Manager Kathy Geil is a 21-year veteran forensic scientist, who worked 13 years at the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, and most recently supervised the NIBIN unit at the Las Vegas Metro Forensic Laboratory.
YAKIMA COMMISSIONERS USED COVID MONEY TO START THE LAB
Startup funding for the center comes from $2.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for equipment, staff and training. Cities in the valley have agreed to support the center through an annual payment. The amount each city will pay is based on population. Yakima would have been the largest contributor at $91,000 annually but the city decided to not participate in the lab funding.
Got a news tip? Email us here.