This week in September is recognized nationally as Forensic Science Week. What better opportunity to take a moment to recognize the critical work done by the staff in our very own Grand Junction Police Department property and evidence division, who are part of this national group of professionals!
Forensic Science Week acknowledges 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 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. Within our agency, 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. Several in our lab staff of nine employees have earned a certification in their respective disciplines, while others are working towards a certification. This year, we have added several sworn officers to our Forensic Investigation Unit, who assist in the processing of crime scenes. Their expertise helps our group provide expert work product to assist in the investigation and prosecution of crime. 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 and quality of work. Here are just a few statistics that highlight the volume of work handled by these highly skilled employees:
- Thus far in 2020, officers have submitted over 13,000 pieces of evidence. That averages to be approximately 1,625 items a month, or 54 items a day.
- We currently have 56,606 cases in our custody, with some of our oldest dating back to the 1960s.
- The Digital Lab has processed over 9 TB of information in 2020.
- We have completed over 2,100 lab requests in 2020. That averages to be approximately 265 requests a month.
- Our two employees at CBI assist in processing Chemistry and Serology cases for numerous law enforcement agencies across the entire Western Slope.
Grand Junction Police Department Crime Laboratory Supervisor Trent Rundquist states, “I’m so pleased to bring awareness and acknowledgement to the crucial work these individuals do on a daily basis. I am amazed to see the professionalism performed in the field and in the office, and feel honored to work among them.”
Additionally, we’d like to share that Trent Rundquist was recently selected to serve on the Latent Print Certification Board of the International Association for Identification. This appointment validates Trent’s expertise in the science of fingerprints through a rigorous testing process. Certification is based upon the candidate’s personal and professional record of education and training, experience and achievement, as well as on the results of a formal examination. The board tests the proficiency of applicants and tests all IAI Certified Latent Print Examiners as part of their re-certification requirement. Trent’s appointment to this prestigious board speaks to the level of talent and expertise we have at the GJPD.
Congratulations to Trent, and to the incredible team we have at the Grand Junction Police Department! We are so fortunate to benefit from your training, expertise, and service.