News Release

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TFC Stu Recke
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Kentucky State Police
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KSP Western Laboratory Branch Grand Opening

Date of News Release: 05/30/2013

from left to right sitting:  Neil Vowels, Wendy Vent, Lt. Mark Mayes (Lab Commander), Annie Smith, Kim Whitmer, from left to right standing:  Major Edward Johnson (Branch Commander Forensic Division), Shane Hardison, John Bruner, David Hack, Shirley Welsh, Tony Oakes, David Barton, Jared Tucker, Brandon Grace, and Lt. Colonel Brad Bates (Commander Technical Services Division)

Photo from left to right sitting: Neil Vowels, Wendy Vent, Lt. Mark Mayes (Lab Commander), Annie Smith, Kim Whitmer
Photo from left to right standing: Major Edward Johnson (Branch Commander Forensic Division), Shane Hardison, John Bruner, David Hack, Shirley Welsh, Tony Oakes, David Barton, Jared Tucker, Brandon Grace, and Lt. Colonel Brad Bates (Commander Technical Services Division)

Madisonville, KY -- On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, the Kentucky State Police Western Laboratory Branch held the grand opening for their new facility located at 4415 Hanson Road in Madisonville. In December of 2008, a decision was made to pursue another facility due to limited space and changes in technology. The result was a new construction designed specifically to meet the needs of the Western Lab. Employees were given the opportunity to provide input into the design of the new building. A contract was awarded in August of 2011 and construction began shortly thereafter.

The 9,240 square foot facility is approximately 1,800 square feet larger than the old facility that was located in the Martin Mall Office Complex on Thornberry Drive. Improvements include: single-story construction, an air lock entry, an evidence receiving room, a large storage room, a conference/training room, new fume hoods, better utilization of workspace for the various disciplines, and a state-of-the art computer server and phone system. The chemistry section was designed approximately 800 square feet larger than the previous facility.

There are six KSP Forensic Laboratories statewide, all ISO 17025 compliant, being accredited through the American Society of Crime Lab Directors Lab Accreditation Board International Program. Generally, the Western Laboratory Branch provides the following services for agencies west of the William Natcher Parkway:

  • breath alcohol maintenance
  • blood alcohol
  • solid dose drugs
  • forensic biology casework screening
  • polygraph

The new laboratory officially re-opened for analysis on January 16, 2013. The staff consists of two administrative assistants, six chemists, one forensic biologist, two breath technicians, one polygraph examiner, and the commander.

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