Crime Lab and Evidence Division
The Crime Lab & Evidence Division is responsible for the collection, processing, testing, storage, and disposition of all evidence and property received by the New Orleans Police Department. The Division is divided up into two sections, the Scientific Criminal Investigations Section, and Central Evidence and Property Section (CE&P).
Scientific Criminal Investigations Section
The Scientific Criminal Investigations Section (SCIS) provides forensic science services to law enforcement personnel by utilizing scientific instrumentation and techniques to present accurate, objective, and unbiased conclusions to the judicial system. The section is comprised of a Crime Scene Unit, Criminalistics Unit and Forensic Support Unit.
Crime Scene Unit
The Crime Scene Unit processes crime scenes, which include, but is not limited to sketching and digitally photographing scenes, dusting for fingerprints, and collecting physical evidence discovered on a crime scene, victim and/or suspect.
The Crime Scene Unit responds to crime scenes at the request of law enforcement personnel and is subject to calls twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The Criminalistics Unit provides professional scientific examinations in the form of chemical testing of suspected controlled dangerous substances.
Forensic Support Unit
The Forensic Support Unit provides professional scientific examination in the form of specialized crime scene services, microscopic comparisons/examinations of firearms related evidence, and physical comparison of evidence.
The Forensic Investigative Sub-Unit’s main responsibility is the development of latent (hidden) fingerprints, but also offers other specialized services.
- Firearms Sub-Unit - The firearms unit of the NOPD Crime Lab consists of firearms technicians, NIBIN technicians and firearms and toolmark examiners. All evidence is retrieved from Central Evidence and Property daily. All firearms and gun-related crime scene evidence are examined for possible links to other gun-related incidents. Firearms technicians test fire firearms with no known relationship to crime scene evidence for possible correlation to other crime scenes. Firearms examiners test fire weapons that are to be compared to fired, scene evidence in addition to determining 1.) If a specific firearm was used in the commission of a crime, 2.) How many firearms were used in the commission of a crime. All confiscated firearms and a representative sample of each fired cartridge casing are entered and searched into the National Integrated Ballistics Network (NIBIN), Region 9. Ultimately, all evidence is then returned to Central Evidence and Property.
All personnel in the SCIS are responsible for testifying in court, describing their interaction with evidence, rendering conclusions based upon examinations performed as well as interpretations and explanations of methods of analyses.
Central Evidence & Property (CE&P) Section
The CE&P Section is responsible for the intake, storage, and disposition of the evidence and property entrusted into the care of the New Orleans Police Department.
Approximately 100 pieces of evidence and property, which could be anything imaginable, are brought daily to our 24/7 facility. Every item is handled with security and integrity in mind. Property, regardless of value, is treated with diligent care, with a preference to it being returned to its rightful owner. Evidence is stored in a variety of manners utilizing best practices with the latest technology and equipment, and may subsequently be tested by the Crime Lab and/or brought to Court for trial. Items that are eventually no longer useful for trial or are unclaimed after prescribed time-periods may be disposed in accordance with state laws and approved procedures.
This Section also staffs a public-release window Mondays through Fridays to provide quality service to citizens seeking to retrieve their property.
CE&P strives for the highest levels of integrity, security, efficiency, and professionalism in everything they do.
For any questions or verifications, please contact our warehouse/disposal or public-release personnel at (504) 658-5550.