October 31, 2014
RENO, NV - More than a thousand people stopped by as the Crime Lab at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office held an open house Thursday. Their forensic investigators assist more than 80 regional law enforcement agencies. To avoid contaminating the lab and future evidence, the open house only happens every few years.
Thanks to television, most people think crime labs are fast paced exciting places to work. "That's part of the reason we do it," says Director of Forensic Science Renee Romero, "so people can come in and see the real world version of forensic science." From DNA tests to ballistics, the lab work is highly specialized and time intensive in many cases requiring a Bachelor's or better.
For some armchair detectives, seeing the less glamorous side of this lab work did not dissuade their interest in criminology. "It looked like fun, getting to solve cases," said Debra Davis. Still, most who visited the lab were surprised by how difficult some of the testing processes can be.