What is a mobile crime lab?
A mobile crime lab is utilized in forensics and investigations. These crime labs are an imperative component in any law enforcement fleet. With the ability to drive the lab to a crime scene location, a mobile crime lab allows emergency personnel to operate efficiently and effectively, ensuring public safety.
A distinguishing feature of a mobile crime lab is the ability to process evidence immediately. Rather than collecting evidence and shipping it to a distant lab, mobile crime labs allow technicians to test everything from DNA to meth, all at the actual scene of the crime. Outfitted with the latest in forensic equipment, a mobile crime lab makes it possible to work around the clock on any case. With the ability to be customized for any use case, these vehicles help make it easier for law enforcement to operate efficiently.
Why is mobile forensics important?
When it comes to handling a crime scene, time is often of the essence. Long delays in processing evidence can result in missing out on important data points, or even the escape of a criminal. For this reason, mobile forensics is a critical component of any major law enforcement fleet.
A mobile crime lab will ensure that when a serious crime is committed, the necessary evidence to prosecute can be collected, processed, and analyzed. Mobile forensic labs are often utilized for cases involving homicides, illicit drugs, explosives, and other cases where public safety is at high risk.
Utilizing a mobile crime lab allows technicians to work effectively around the clock. Often equipped with break rooms, and restrooms, mobile forensic labs ensure law enforcement teams can tackle key cases in a timely manner.
What occupations use a mobile crime lab?
Mobile crime labs are utilized in conjunction with a full law enforcement team. Most specifically, crime technicians will be the primary users of these mobile forensic labs. However, beyond just the technicians who process the evidence from a crime scene, other law enforcement personnel will utilize the lab as well.
Depending on how big the law enforcement department is, a mobile crime lab might be designed for use by only a couple of people at a time or upwards of a dozen personnel. Larger mobile crime labs will be equipped with not only the lab, but also conference room space, and other added office features.
Additionally, a mobile crime lab is often utilized alongside other emergency personnel equipment, making it a vital component of a public safety fleet.
What types of analysis can be conducted in a mobile crime lab?
Mobile crime labs can be outfitted with any desired forensics and lab equipment. This makes it possible to analyze an array of evidence, including all of the following:
- Homicide evidence
- Arson evidence
- Hazardous materials
Due to the ability to analyze a wide array of evidence, mobile crime labs are a vital tool in law enforcement, homeland security, and military work. These labs allow for rapid, on-site testing of critical evidence.
Mobile crime labs can be customized to meet the specific needs of any forensic team. With the best in technology, a mobile lab can operate just as effectively as a stationary location. Built-in ventilation, specialized hazardous storage compartments, and refrigeration options make mobile labs an effective choice for any law enforcement department.
Is a CDL or special training required to drive a mobile crime lab?
Whether or not a CDL is required to drive a mobile crime lab depends on local regulations, the size of the lab, and what is being transported. To understand whether or not a CDL will be required, it is best to seek advice from local authorities.
Additionally, special training requirements will be dependent upon the law enforcement organization utilizing the lab. In most cases, these labs are part of a public safety fleet. As such, specialized training will often be provided by the department to ensure the safety of all passengers. Not only are there safety concerns around those riding in the lab, but many labs also contain hazardous materials which require special consideration.
If you are not sure whether or not the mobile crime lab you are looking to purchase requires any special training or a CDL for use, be sure to speak with local authorities.