Glendale crime lab receives federal funding to help process evidence faster

The Glendale-based Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory will receive $150,000 in federal funding that will go toward helping the facility being able to process DNA evidence quicker and expand its storage capacity. (Tim Berger / Glendale News-Press)

The Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory will now be able to process DNA evidence faster, thanks to an infusion of $150,000 in funding.

Secured by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) through a program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, the money will go toward hiring additional part-time lab personnel to help process DNA samples and increase capacity at the lab.

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In a statement, Schiff said the money will help improve public safety and aid law enforcement agencies in “investigating a range of crimes including the most serious violent offenses.”

Housed at the Glendale Police Department’s headquarters, the lab primarily serves Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. It also helps in the processing of DNA evidence collected in neighboring communities, according to lab director Catherine Nguyen.

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“As the laboratory experiences an increase in demand for DNA testing, the funding is critical in maintaining the level of service that is expected from the Glendale Police Department and Glendale residents,” Nguyen said in a statement.

Evidence the lab processes can range from DNA collected during a theft investigation to that collected investigating sexual assaults.

In 2015, the lab received $250,000 raised by a local nonprofit to help maintain operations, and Schiff secured the initial $1.5 million that was needed to open the lab in 2012.

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