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Response Vehicles Help Forensic Scientists Work at Crime Scenes
02/25/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police (OSP) forensic scientists work got a much-needed boost with the addition of three vehicles specifically designed to meet the unique needs of crime scene response work around the State.

OSP Crime Scene Response Vehicle 
The OSP Forensic Services Division replaced outdated crime scene response vehicles in Clackamas, Bend and Central Point with three specially designed vehicles equipped to handle major crime scenes any where around the state. Production of the new Crime Scene Response Vehicles began in December 2007 and they were delivered one year later. In addition to the special interior and exterior equipment, these vehicles are more fuel efficient with the newest diesel engine featuring the cleanest emissions ever and the ability to respond nearly anywhere in the State on a single tank of fuel.
 
"These new crime scene response vehicles serve as our ‘crime lab on wheels' and allows forensic scientists to work with investigators under the extremist conditions. As the sole-service provider for many forensic services, we can now quickly respond to any type of forensic request ranging from the recovery of a buried body, the collection of latent prints, or to take trajectory measurements at a shooting reconstruction scene," said Captain Randy Wampler, Director of the OSP Forensic Services Division.
 
Two days after receiving the first new Crime Scene Response Vehicle, OSP forensic scientists responded to help during the multi-agency investigation into the Woodburn bank bombing incident that claimed the life of OSP Senior Trooper Bill Hakim and Woodburn Police Captain Tom Tennant, and critically injured Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell. Forensic scientists and detectives not only faced a challenging investigation, but it was done during the first couple days in a winter storm that in the past would have caused significant problems for crime scene investigators.
 
"If we would have responded to this tragic incident with our old vehicles we would have been challenged to find a clean, dry climate controlled environment to perform sensitive onsite testing at this major crime scene," said Wampler.
 
Some of the new Crime Scene Response Vehicle's features include:
  • Each vehicle is based on a 2008 Ford 4x4 F350 chassis with the Powerstroke diesel engine and ambulance prep package.
  • An on-board 6,000 watt generator with extended run time. This high-capacity power source is capable of providing all electrical needs during crime scene processing including electrical analytical equipment, computers and scene lighting.
  • Two telescoping 750 watt halogen floodlights.
  • Interior features designed to allow for clean wash down and decontamination following exposure/use at a biologically contaminated scene (i.e. bloody crime scene).
  • An examination table and interior storage.
  • Three large exterior compartments allowing for the storage and pre-staging of crime scene processing equipment.
  • Radios providing communication with investigators.
 
The three vehicles replaced smaller 1995 Ford Ranger pickups staged at OSP crime labs in Clackamas, Bend, and Central Point. Once fully equipped, each Crime Scene Response Vehicle cost approximately $120,000.