The Urbana Police Division received a Walmart Local Community Grant in the amount of $4,500 to purchase an enclosed Forensic Ductless Workstation for criminal investigations. The unit makes evidence testing safer for officers.
The Air Clean Ductless 600 Workstation protects officers operating the system from toxic vapors, fumes, powders, particulates and smoke, as they process or test evidence. Officers will use this system while they are searching for and developing latent prints from items of evidence; to conduct presumptive tests on evidence containing blood or other bodily fluids; and to conduct presumptive chemical testing on various drug evidence, especially fentanyl.
This new system will help to protect officers from absorbing or inhaling unsafe substances.
Police Chief Matt Lingrell said such an advanced system may streamline the turnaround time it takes for officers to submit some items of evidence to state law enforcement crime labs, have testing completed and then returned to the police division for us to use in criminal investigations.
The chief said this new investigative tool likely would not have happened if not for the efforts of police sergeants Shawn Schmidt and Todd Pratt, who researched the project and prepared and submitted the grant proposal.
Last week Carson Sanders of Walmart was invited to the police division to receive, on behalf of the Walmart team, a letter of thanks along with a Chief’s Challenge Coin. He had the opportunity to see how the machine operates as Sgt. Schmidt developed latent prints from a confiscated firearm.
“We are very thankful to the local Walmart team for their support of this project,” Lingrell said.
Submitted by the Urbana Police Division.