Denver Police Department Crime Lab

Denver Police Department Crime Lab
Denver Police Department Crime Lab

The Denver Police Department’s Crime Lab was in tight quarters, preventing the department from quickly processing evidence and casework while also negatively impacting collaboration and communication among the various lab sections.

Client

City and County of Denver

Location

Denver, CO

Markets/Services

Science & Technology, Forensic, Government Research, Lab Planning, Architecture, Interiors, Programming

Size

60, 000 sq ft

Featured Awards

American Institute of Architects -- Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) Publication Award, 2014

While the world of forensic investigation follows a tried-and-true process, the scales of justice and hard work that goes on behind the scenes in crime labs is increasingly becoming more science and technology-driven. And for the Denver Police Department to properly and faithfully administer justice, the organization needed to expand and update its crime lab for the 21st century.

Denver Police Department Crime Lab

Previously confined to just 14,000 square feet in police headquarters, the Denver Crime Laboratory lacked sufficient training space and room needed to manage casework for up to 16,000 cases per year.

Denver Police Department Crime Lab

The design does more than add space and flexibility, however: It adds unique features such as an elevated catwalk in the photography lab—providing a vertical view of evidence as it is photographed—and a virtual tour feature. A video, which plays in the auditorium, gives a simulated tour through the various areas of the facility including highly secure portions—ensuring protection but not concealment.

Denver Police Department Crime Lab

One of the key components for creating a successful crime lab was understanding the workflow of investigators and researchers and how the different teams interact and collaborate. The larger footprint more appropriately combines services under one roof, elevating communication, coordination and efficiency of lab workflow, ultimately saving the city time and money. Furthermore, the building is designed to last at least 50 years, incorporating a flexible plan that can easily and cost-effectively react to changes in technology and organizational needs.

Denver Police Department Crime Lab

The SmithGroup design team ultimately delivered a forensic facility that is more than five times larger than its previous space while simultaneously addressing past constraints through careful planning and communication among stakeholders.

Denver Police Department Crime Lab