Baltimore, MD - May 2, 2017 - On the evening of May 1, 2017 over 75 community members gathered at the Cross Country School to hear from members of the Baltimore City Crime Lab. Chief Steve O’Dell, who leads the Forensic Sciences and Evidence Management Division of the Baltimore City Police department described in detail the various roles the crime lab plays in the City’s fight against crime.

The Chief thanked Baltimore city Councilman YItzy Schleifer for the opportunity to address our community and noted that it was at the Councilman’s urging that his division was able to bring on 10 new latent print technicians to address burglaries. The Crime Lab with its nine distinct labs takes up 7 floors of the Police Headquarters building and is tasked with everything from latent prints, controlled substance testing, and ballistics to DNA testing.

The presentation truly engaged the audience who asked multiple questions of the guest speakers and even stayed after the program was completed to continue to inquire about various specific areas of forensic science. At the behest of Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, this was the first time the Crime Lab has conducted a community engagement program.   Councilman Schleifer, commented, “It is critical for the general public to understand how dedicated and professional the Baltimore City Crime Lab is. By understanding how crimes are investigated, empowers the community to be better prepared to deter crime as well as  deal with the aftermath of a crime should they find themselves in the unfortunate position of being a victim. As a strong proponent of public safety, I could not be more impressed with Chief O’Dell and his entire team.”  

Nathan Willner, President of the Cheswolde Neighborhood Association, assisted in facilitating the program and reflected, “The men and women of the crime lab are truly unsung heroes of law enforcement. It is one of the most cost effective tools we have in resolving crimes. Chief O’Dell sees his role as a partner with the community in supporting the work of law enforcement as it investigates and prosecutes criminals. From the enthusiasm of the attendees it was clear that it was a program the community really found informative. Councilman Schleifer continues to demonstrate his commitment to bring public safety programs and resources to the community, he is doing a terrific job representing our District”.