Rapid City/Pennington County evidence building nears completion - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City/Pennington County evidence building nears completion

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The new Pennington County evidence building has been under construction for almost a year with a price tag of nearly eight million dollars.

Although the facility isn't 100 percent complete, the building will play an integral part in all criminal cases that come through not only Pennington County, but many others.

It will hold more than 20,000 pieces of evidence, and that's not all.

It will house some of the most specialized forensic scientists in the state.

In a new, spacious lab, they'll be able to analyze fingerprints, and blood alcohol samples in a way no one else in the state can.

Department directors hope to also offer urinalysis and DNA analysis in the future.
But their first priority is moving in, and preserving the critical evidence they are charged with keeping.
 
"Anytime evidence is contaminated or the change of custody is broken, it opens the door for discrediting of officers, evidence specialists and department itself," said Captain James Johns, Director of the Rapid City Police Department Criminal Investigations Division.
 
"We do get a large quantity of drugs and it does come through the building, but the amount that we actually need to get a felony drug conviction is quite small," said Dr. Richard Bleil, Forensics Laboratory Director.

Its estimated this facility should be functional for half a century, while the old building was given a 20-year life expectancy. In addition, this new building holds three times as much evidence.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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