In a response to a San Luis Obispo County civil grand jury report on the cramped conditions of the county’s forensic crime lab, Sheriff Ian Parkinson agreed with the findings, but essentially said there was little more he could do.
The report issued March 27 said that while the county coroner’s facility is running efficiently since it moved near the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport in August 2012, the sheriff’s forensic crime lab is overcrowded and would benefit from an expansion or relocation.
In his response, Parkinson said the lab is housed in a World War II-era barracks that was moved from Camp San Luis Obispo in the 1970s. The building has gone through a number of remodels over the years, but space continues to be an issue.
However, in early March the Sheriff’s Office was able to add 300 square feet to the lab — making more room for its fingerprint and fiber analysis lab, trace and imaging lab, and a chemical and toxicology lab — following the opening of a new property and evidence room at another site.
Parkinson said his office currently does not have an alternative site or the budget for a new building.