CSI-Oklahoma: FSB provides Oklahoma’s criminal investigators with a much-needed, state-of-the-art new home.
For decades, investigators and other employees with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) struggled to do their jobs within multiple cramped, aging facilities that weren’t conducive to their modern investigative needs.
Today OSBI personnel are gathered into a single state-of-the-art Forensic Science Center, with more than 88,000 SF of laboratory, office and other space — a highly-specialized facility designed by FSB with the help of partners MWL Architects and Howard-Fairbairn Site Design. Creation of the center was extremely challenging from a technical standpoint, given the wide variety of functions that must be performed within its walls and the critical nature of the OSBI staff’s work in preserving, analyzing and storing criminal evidence.
Throughout the design process, FSB and its partners also worked closely with the American Society of Crime Lab Directors, to ensure the project met all standards for the labs to earn the required accreditation. The facility is laid out along a central corridor, with administrative spaces along one side and specialized forensics laboratories along the other, all with natural lighting.
Specialized features and equipment in the labs allow personnel to handle diverse processes pertaining to drug identification, latent prints, shoe and tire impressions, forensic biology (serology/DNA), toxicology, trace evidence, firearms and tool marks, and general crime scene investigation. A sound-proofed basement level in the building contains a 60’ firing range, used for ballistics testing. FSB experts also created a special vibration-minimizing storage bay on the center’s top floor as a home for the agency’s highly-sensitive scanning electron microscope.
Its location in Edmond, Oklahoma, adjacent to the University of Central Oklahoma’s top-tier forensic education program, allows OSBI personnel to partner with professors and students through an on-site training laboratory.