Mesa police are putting the kibosh on crime. A massive backlog that once plagued the city's forensic lab is now nearly non-existent.
For more than a decade CBS 5 has told you about the forensic log jam that's inundated crime labs across the Valley.
What used to take two years in Mesa, now takes about two months. Funding from grants allowed the lab to go automated.
"By doing that we actually went from doing about 12 samples in 12 hours to about 50 samples in four hours," said Mesa Forensic Services Administrator Kimberly Fiorucci.
Perhaps the biggest change is a revamp in the way detectives in the field collect evidence. Lab techs work closely with officers to determine what clues can best solve a case. That limits the total number of samples that need to be processed.
The lab is also linked to three national databases. When there's a hit, the case is immediately followed up on.
"We do help link suspects they may already have. We also do just the opposite. We let them know if the route they're going does not match the person that they are following," Fiorucci said.
Their system also links information to law enforcement agencies across the country. If need be those investigations can be reassigned to detectives. That ensures 100 percent of the cases are looked into.
Mesa's success prompted Gilbert Police Department to team up. That new partnership seems to already be producing results.
"We actually just started processing for them July 1. And a series of robberies here and in Gilbert seem to be related," Fiorucci said.
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