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Police Say Mobile Units Make Evaluating Crime Scenes Easier

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The State Police has acquired four new mobile units to help troopers evaluate evidence at crime scenes.

Since the agency launched two mobile units in January 2002, 80 crime scenes have been processed, said Sgt. Darren Francis.

The first case was the murder of Jason Gill, whose body was found in January 2002 buried along the Kanawha/Lincoln County line. Crime scene experts used portable labs to help evaluate the rural site.

The portable labs allow troopers to investigate the crime while other officers evaluate the crime scene, said Sgt. K.G. McCord. They can be used by cities and counties as well as the State Police.

"It's very important to free up that investigative officer," McCord said. "We come in and process the crime scene and hand it over to the investigators so they can do their work."

Each new unit, which costs about $10,000, will have a four-person team trained to process crime scenes, Francis said.

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