Evidence is often destroyed, contaminated, or even lost during transport from the crime scene to police department laboratories. Mobile labs eliminate those problems by providing on the spot reception of all evidence recovered at the scene. Many items can actually be examined at the scene.
Mobile units are also used for blood alcohol testing and arson investigation.
Exterior storage compartments.
Exhaust hoods remove dangerous fumes during the examination of hazardous materials.
Mobile conference room.
(Thanks to LDV and the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office)
These high-tech labs-on-wheels are even available to departments with small budgets.
Seriously, high-ticket mobile labs are simply not an option for smaller police departments that operate on limited funding. In fact, most small agencies are not equipped with any type lab. In those departments officers collect and package their own evidence (they normally don’t have separate CSI units), and then deliver it to a central state lab. Technicians and scientists at the state labs examine the evidence and then deliver, via snail mail, a written report to the submitting officer. Each of the scientists are available to testify in court about their findings.