News Flash

Police News

Posted on: September 22, 2021

GJPD Recognizes Forensic Science Week #GVCopBeat

Crime scene police tape

Forensic Science Week, acknowledged September 19-25 throughout the United States, recognizes the important role forensic science plays in the investigation of crimes, from exonerating the innocent to identifying the guilty.  This week recognizes the scientific and technical professionals that serve our communities in that vital role.  

The Grand Junction Police Department is privileged to have several members of our organization who are a part of the forensic community. In our Property/Lab section and Forensic Investigation team, we have experts who respond to crime scenes to process and collect evidence, maintain the integrity of evidence submitted, and perform analysis on controlled substances, digital evidence, serology, and latent prints.  Most of our group has earned a certification in their respective disciplines, while others are working towards a certification. Their expertise helps to provide expert work product to assist in the investigation of criminal activity. Most of the time, these individuals work behind the scenes, maintaining evidence and processing items long after the initial crime was committed.  They each deal with heavy caseloads and responsibilities, yet strive to answer critical questions to assist in criminal investigations while maintaining the highest integrity.  This group is called out to process crime scenes as needed, any time of day or night; in 2020, they had 42 call outs. Thus far in 2021, they have been requested to respond to crime scenes 36 times. 
  • Our evidence technicians are currently in charge of all items of evidence submitted to the GJPD, averaging approximately 1,650 new items submitted monthly.
    • They have also been tasked with keeping track of all body-worn camera footage, as well as over 225,000 items of digital evidence.
    • Many of our cases have been held for decades, with our oldest case dating back to 1964.
    • In the past 20 years, our evidence submission rate has increased by 150%.
    • All of our evidence technicians are Certified Evidence Specialists through the International Association of Property and Evidence.
  • Over the past 5 years, our chemists have processed over 12,000 pieces of evidence for the presence of chemical substances.
    • Our chemists are the longest-tenured chemists stationed at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which includes the Denver, Pueblo, and Northern Lab offices.
    • In addition to analyzing evidence for the GJPD, they also process evidence for many other agencies throughout the Western Slope, from Steamboat Springs to Durango, which assists CBI in keeping the Chemistry backlog down.
    • Both chemists have been trained or are currently training in other disciplines, including Serology and Digital Forensics.
  • Our Digital Lab will process any type of digital evidence: cell phones, computers, gaming consoles, surveillance videos, etc.
    • Cell phone downloads and analysis have increased approximately 110% over the past 5 years.
    • In 2020, the Digital Lab processed approximately 12.7 TB of information. In 2021, they have processed over 20.2 TB as of August.
    • Certifications have been earned in video analysis (one of only roughly 50 people in the world to hold the same certification) and computer forensics (one of only roughly 2,000 people in the world to hold the same certification).
We hope you'll join us in acknowledging the great work these individuals do on a daily basis, and share our pride in having these highly skilled individuals serving right here in Grand Junction.

Property and evidence photo collage 

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