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Private Donations are Needed to Build a New Crime Lab

Funds are requested for the design and construction of a Forensic Science Center in southern Nevada.

There is only one full-service crime lab in southern Nevada. That lab is operated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). LVMPD does as much as can be expected with a laboratory of its size, and does it well. However, a single lab does not have the capacity to support the entire region, and to do otherwise is not a reasonable or practical expectation. It is important to note that the LVMPD laboratory is in a leased facility, rather than a publicly-owned facility.

The City of Henderson operates a small crime laboratory in a temporary facility with some of the most qualified forensic scientists in the country. The lab is limited due to significant restrictions in space and personnel who can operate in the small building.

Due in large part to the recent advances in forensic technology and crime scene investigation, there are unique processes available today, that were not possible a decade ago. Processes that can now help identify suspects (and their victims when necessary) much faster and more reliabily. These critical state-of-the-art processes and techniques start from the first response to a scene by patrol officers; to subsequent crime scene investigation, evidence collection, and forensic evidence processing/analysis.

Blood alcohol, narcotics, DNA, and other forensic analyses; crime scene processing; and other forensic capabilities are critically limited in Clark County and Southern Nevada. Gun shot residue analysis (scanning electron microscopy) is conducted out-of-state.

There is one additional publicly funded/operated forensic laboratory in Nevada. It is managed by the Washoe County Sheriff, in Reno, Nevada.

In contrast to the limited forensic laboratory capability in Nevada, the U.S. Department of Justice's 2005 Census report (released in 2008) reported that there were a total of 389 publicly funded crime labs in the U.S.

As of March 2009, there were 362 laboratories accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/ Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The list includes 183 state laboratories, 117 local agency laboratories, 22 federal laboratories, 12 international (non U.S.) laboratories, and 28 private.

The LVMPD and Washoe County labs are accredited. The City of Henderson crime lab is not yet accreditated (as of 8-22-09).

In comparison to Nevada, the State of Utah with a similar population, has 4 ASCLD/LAB accredited forensic crime labs; Idaho, with a population smaller than the Las Vegas Valley has 3; Arizona has 8; New Mexico 3; and California has 33 (17 of them in areas with populations smaller than Clark County, 7of those are in cities smaller than Henderson).

When completed, the Center may include areas for a Forensic Laboratory, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Section, and Evidence Vault.

The facility will be only the second full service forensic laboratory (typically called crime laboratory) in the region. The Center’s resources will be used to assist multiple public agencies in southern Nevada to every extent possible.and will play a critical role in the overall safety and security of the entire Las Vegas Valley and southern Nevada.

Important Notice: The Friends of Henderson CSI DOES NOT solicit contributions over the phone. If you receive any such requests, please DO NOT provide any personal or financial information to the caller.

Please Send Your Tax Deductible
Contributions To:
Henderson Community Foundation
c/o Friends of CSI
P.O. Box 778263
Henderson, NV 89077

Please make check payable to:
Henderson Community Foundation

The "Friends of CSI" is a component fund of the Henderson Community Foundation, a recognized 501(c)3. Any contribution you make to Friends of CSI and/or Henderson Community Foundation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS and may be tax deductible.

Federal Tax ID #45-0489163.

You can make a donation by credit card by contacting the Henderson Community Foundation through their website at or click the logo below. Please be sure to specify that your gift is for the Forensic Science Center / Forensic Laboratory Project.

Logo of Henderson Community Foundation



DISCLAIMER (added August 22, 2009):

The FCSI and this website are NOT operated or indorsed by the City of Henderson (COH) nor the Henderson Police Department (HPD). Neither the COH nor the HPD receive any of the funds collected. Once sufficient funds are raised to buld a forensic science center, public agencies in southern Nevada will be contacted to determine which agency/agencies will make the most effecient and effective use of the additional forensic evidence analysis capability for southern Nevada.

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