Mesa police show off their Forensic Services lab

MESA, AZ - Many popular television shows glamorize the life of a crime scene investigator. Most of the time, their case, no matter how strange, is conveniently wrapped up in an hour.

"This isn't CSI, this isn't something that you're going to see on TV," said Sgt. Tony Landato with the Mesa Police Department.

The Mesa Police Department's Forensic Services lab employs over 70 people that process over 35,000 requests every year. The full service crime laboratory has departments including: Latent Prints, Controlled Substances, Toxicology, DNA, Firearms, and Crime Scene Processing.

Unlike the hour-long television dramas, the average time span for a fingerprint match is 21 days. As for DNA test results, the lab averages 45 days before a correct match.

With the increase in lab technology, Mesa police were able to reopen and solve a cold case from 33 years ago. The success was due to new DNA testing technology.

"It makes a direct affect, not just for the case solving, but on crime, and for our citizens the quality of life here in Mesa," said Landato.

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