A new police laboratory in Surrey is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across the country each year.
B.C. RCMP took ownership of its new lab on July 15, located at E-Division headquarters in Surrey (14200 Green Timbers Way).
It replaces the 45-year-old National Forensic Laboratory Services laboratory in Vancouver and the new site will feature “advanced telecommunications systems and specialized workstations designed to fulfill lab operating requirements,” according to a release.
RCMP say the state-of-the-art lab in Surrey will conduct a variety tests, including toxicology, biology (DNA), trace evidence anti-counterfeiting, and firearms and tool-mark identification.
“These services play a vital role in criminal investigations,” a release notes. “The new lab will allow the RCMP to continue providing critical services to support criminal investigations across Canada, helping to identify, eliminate or exonerate suspects, and enhance public safety.”
Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, said in a release that “ensuring police agencies across the country have timely access to state-of-the-art forensic laboratory services is a priority for the Government of Canada.”
“Our Government is committed to enhancing public safety, supporting law enforcement, and ensuring that criminals are brought to justice,” Blair added. “This new lab facility will ensure that the RCMP can continue providing advanced forensic services to assist with police investigations across Canada.”
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said as the police force “looks to its future as a modern, advanced police service, we will continue to prioritize acquiring new technology that will ensure our long-term capabilities.”
“Our new lab in British Columbia will allow us to continue providing valuable forensic services to support police investigations, prosecute criminals, and keep Canadians safe,” added Lucki.
The lab is scheduled to be at full operating capacity by the fall of 2019.
During the transition period, RCMP say National Forensic Laboratory Services (NFLS) locations in Edmonton and Ottawa will “ensure that forensic service requests continue to be processed.”
From 2018 to 2019, the RCMP say NFLS locations processed 17,154 forensic service requests.