New high-tech crime lab opens at Stewart


Lab director Ray Wickenheiser explains the new equipment

STEWART AIRPORT – The new State Police Mid-Hudson crime lab at
Stewart Airport was formally opened on Monday. It is one of four in the
state and replaces an older facility that was also at Stewart.

The 10,000 square foot lab features brand new, state-of-the-art drug analysis

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs Stewart, paid
for the $10 million lab in exchange for continued trooper coverage of
the passenger terminal building.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said that the lab provides
a whole new efficiency to the local law enforcement and that it will be
a major asset to all Hudson Valley law enforcement.
“I think the lab here, it’s part of the community; it’s
very important to the State Police but, probably two-thirds of the cases
we do in the lab are not for us; they’re for other police agencies,”
said D’Amico. “So, for everyone down in the Lower Hudson Valley,
to have some place to come to have their evidence done or even to drop
off their evidence so it can get to Albany, it’s a tremendous resource.
Otherwise, they’d have to either mail it, or, get in their car drive
to Albany for everything; so, it’s super convenient being right
here in the Hudson Valley.”

The Mid-Hudson Crime Lab will take approximately 3,500 cases a year from
police agencies in the Hudson Valley, the majority being in toxicology,
consisting of approximately 450 cases per year and drug chemistry, consisting
of approximately 1,250 of the cases per year.

Since the lab relies so heavily on advanced scientific analyses, approximately
$2 million of the $10 million in funding from the Port Authority was dedicated
to acquiring the best of laboratory technologies, including new Gas Chromatography
Mass Spectrometers, costing an estimated $40,000 a piece, which will be
used to analyze and confirm illicit drugs at the atomic level with almost
flawless precision.

The new facility should replace the current operation by Thanksgiving.

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