Leadership Overland Park Session 6 – County Day

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 by
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Crime Lab Enterance

The latest session of the Leadership Overland Park (LOP) series was focused on services at the county level. For me, the highlight of the day was a tour of the brand new Johnson County Crime Laboratory (JCCL) which I’ll talk about more in a moment. Also enjoyable is the fact that Sheriff Frank Denning is a member of our LOP class and was one of the presenters for our session. He and his department do a wonderful job keeping our county safe and it was great to learn about all that goes into his job. The sheriff’s office provides 911 and other communications services for many parts of the county from a new state of the art $21 million dollar facility. Other duties include serving as the police protection for several of the smaller cities in the county; overseeing the crime lab; offering investigative assistance to local police departments; and providing detention services.

The crime lab is a brand new $30 million facility which opened just three weeks prior to our tour. It marks a leap forward in terms of equipment and technology for our experts to use to solve crimes of all types. The television show CSI hasn’t got anything on this place. Gary Howell is the director of the crime lab and led our tour of the facility. I’m not sure exactly what I expected a real crime lab to be like, but it is definitely high-tech. We toured the DNA lab, the fingerprint area and the ballistics lab. For those who remember Beverly Hills Cop when Eddie Murphy’s character uses the fumes from super glue to get fingerprints off some evidence…they still use that technology today, but with larger more precise equipment. Also on the tour was a blood spatter room: a big white concrete room that was designed to be able to withstand “buckets of blood”. In this room, they recreate crime scenes complete with similar furniture to the original crime scene. They will simulate the crime and study the blood spatter. And they use real expired blood from local blood banks. When they are done with their work, the room is designed to be completely hosed down. It was a wonderful tour of a facility that is helping to keep crime low in our community.

Next up is Regionalism Day to be held in downtown KCMO on May 8th.

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