The next level of crime fighting begins in Shreveport. The North Louisiana Forensic Sciences Center held its grand opening Tuesday afternoon.
The large facility on Tulane Avenue is where crime evidence from 29 parishes will be sent for analysis.
After years in the making and under budget constraints, the center held it’s ribbon cutting with community leaders and law enforcement. It houses state-of-the-art equipment to merge science with crime-fighting.
“It’s important because we have the best technology here that money can buy. We have the right scientists here and we’re hiring new scientist,” said Steve Prator, Sheriff of Caddo Parish.
Employees said the old lab used to house equipment in one area and now the new facility has four floors dedicated to different professions. DNA testing is done on one floor while firearms are tested in the sound-proof range above.
“Instead of being hidden away in an old school we now are in the forefront of things and can keep up with all the different kinds of crime and things that occur,” Prator said.
The City Marshal said it will help communication between multiple law enforcement agencies.
“I think it’s going to bring a lot of individuals into partnerships. It’s going to bring unity as far as individuals working together. I think as far as taskforce it’s going to draw us in as a whole,” said Charlie Caldwell, Shreveport City Marshal.
The center has an unique partnership with LSU medical school to train students in forensics.
The Mayor said it will have a big economic impact.
“When you can have more vitality in a community it does spur the job growth because we will have more people coming in because we’re going to be the center for all north Louisiana,” said Ollie Tyler, Mayor of Shreveport.
Workers just started moving into their new offices and labs. Some said they’ve never been more excited to go to work in the new facility.