New forensics facility opens in Berkeley County

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office opened a new forensics facility on Monday, which will help deputies improve their ability to solve crimes in the county.

“We’re very excited here today. This is a big milestone for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office,” said?

The ribbon was cut by county officials Monday afternoon on a facility that greatly expands the ability to handle and process evidence.

“This will enable us to streamline our process as far as how we collect evidence, how we process evidence, fingerprinting, DNA, all the things we need to solve a crime,” Sheriff Lewis said.

Deputies will have a room available where they can bring evidence 24/7. They simply leave the evidence in a locker for forensics staff to later process it into the system.

“A garage area where we can bring vehicles in out of the weather so that we can process them which has been another hurdle for us,” he said.

The old forensics building next to the county jail was just too small for the growing county.

“As you could tell when you looked at it- it was very cramped space. We were totally out of room to store and house evidence,” said Lewis.

As a matter of fact, the sheriff’s department has had to rent a storage container and both of those facilities are jam packed with evidence.

“You know, we have to hold onto this evidence years and years after the case has been adjudicated. In case there’s some type of appeal. So, we were totally out of space.”

“This space will enable several technicians to work on a specific piece of evidence or several pieces of evidence at one time. So, that’s what I mean by streamlining the process of moving the evidence process quicker to help solve the crime for people that’s been a victim.”

Sheriff Lewis says this is the latest of many steps he has taken since he was elected to bring the Berkeley County’s Sheriff’s Office up to where it needs to be.

“We’ve been way behind in a lot of things and we’re starting to catch up,” the sheriff said.

Sheriff Lewis says they’re hoping to have everything transferred over from the old facility over the next couple of weeks.

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