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New Forensic Crime Lab In Weld County About To Open Its Doors

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Laboratory Director Ronald Arndt talks with CBS4's Nina Sparano (credit: CBS)

Laboratory Director Ronald Arndt talks with CBS4’s Nina Sparano (credit: CBS)

WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A new forensic crime lab in Weld County is about to open its doors and that’s great news for law enforcement across Northern Colorado. CBS4’s Nina Sparano was allowed in for an exclusive look on Friday.

Locked behind doors are rows of shelves that will host evidence from crimes scenes across Northern Colorado

“This is where we process evidence, so if we evidence that may have fingerprints on it we can bring it here and process it,” Laboratory Director Ronald Arndt said.

Multiple forensic evidence labs will work together to form the Northern Colorado Regional Forensics Laboratory. It’s a collaboration that will speed up crime solving in Northern Colorado.

“We can respond to that and meet that need very quickly, and that’s what we want to do, we want to be that responsive to the people in Northern Colorado,” Arndt said.

Under 20,000 square feet, the lab combines a state-of-the-art latent fingerprint lab.

“If there is any kind of moisture, which fingerprints have moisture and oils on them, it enhances that finger print,” Arndt said.

It also has a secure DNA testing facility, firearms labs, and a half-dozen other technologies to process evidence from six different agencies — Larimer and Weld counties along with Greeley, Loveland and Fort Collins and Colorado Bureau of Investigation analysts. Keeping the labs under one roof, with room to grow, experts say is critical in crime solving.

“The Weld County way is to make sure things are done well, done right, but at a cost that is reasonable for the taxpayers and the county and they’ve done that,” Arndt said.

The facility was completed months ahead of schedule and under their $4 million budget. They still have a lot of work to do bringing in lab equipment but they say the lab will be 100 percent operational by next month.

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