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New Metro Crime Lab Ready to Open - John Dunn

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MADISON, Tenn. - Nashville's Mayor calls it a game changer for public safety. The new Metro Police crime lab is ready to open.  Scientists will soon be solving cases.
It has been on Nashville's to-do list for years, and Mayor Karl Dean is glad to get his first tour of the Metro Police crime lab. "I couldn't be more thrilled by what I saw today. I mean this is a major step forward for what is already a great police department," says Mayor Karl Dean.

The crime lab is inside the new Madison precinct on Myatt Drive. It is here where analysts will study DNA, drugs, ballistics, toxicology and fingerprints. They will examine evidence and identify suspects.

Right now, most of Nashville's complex lab work is sent to the TBI, where it must wait its turn with evidence from 95 Tennessee counties. Police say this new lab allows them to do their own analysis in-house and produce fast results. "Solving that case at an earlier time, before another crime has a chance to be committed." says Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson.

Almost all of the equipment is state of the art and some of it is impressive. An 800 gallon water tank helps ballistics analysts examine bullets. Trained scientists are required to work with DNA, or analyze drugs and toxicology samples. The crime lab and the new precinct cost $40 million to build, but the Mayor says the investment will pay off. "Allows us to use the most sophisticated criminal detection analysis available in many more cases, and make Nashville ultimately a safer city," says Mayor Dean.

Scientists will be in the labs after the first of the year, and police hope more cases will be solved and criminals will be arrested. 

The Metro Police Department will soon have two more new buildings. The Midtown Hills precinct and the new Central precinct downtown are both under construction.

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