September 28th, 2022
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today joined Monroe County Undersheriff Korey Brown, District Attorney Sandra Doorley, Medical Examiner Dr. Nadia Granger and Crime Laboratory Director John Clark to honor the men and women of the Monroe County Crime Laboratory (MCCL) and Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office for their outstanding work supporting public safety. Last week was National Forensic Science Week. In its 10th year, National Forensic Science Week recognizes the contribution of forensic science to the criminal justice system and celebrates academic programs, forensic professionals and scientific research in the various forensic disciplines.
“Monroe County’s Crime Laboratory and Medical Examiner’s Office are critical links to my administration’s focus on public safety,” said County Executive Bello. “Our forensics teams analyze thousands of pieces of evidence linked to crime scenes each year, and work with law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office to remove violent criminals from our streets. Their work doesn’t often make the headlines, but it’s nonetheless as important to our criminal justice system as our law enforcement and judicial system in ensuring a safer Monroe County.”
The Monroe County Crime Lab provides analytical, scientific, and other forensic and administrative support to law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system. Formed in 1961, the MCCL is a regional forensic laboratory that serves the City of Rochester, Monroe County and Genesee and Livingston counties. In 2021, the 29-person Crime Lab analyzed 10,299 evidence samples, worked on 117 arson cases, 75 homicide cases and made 933 investigative leads in the National Integrated Ballistics Network, linking firearms to shootings or multiple shootings. In response to the uptick in workload stemming from the rise in violence in the region, Monroe County’s Crime Lab added two full- time positions in the firearms division and one full-time position in the drugs and narcotics division.
The Office of the Medical Examiner works in tandem with the crime lab and District Attorney’s office on homicide cases, assisting state and local agencies that rely on reports to evaluate deaths under review by various offices. In 2021, the office investigated 4,259 deaths, conducted 1,158 examinations and ruled 94 deaths as homicides. Each homicide requires pre-trial meetings with attorneys and court appearances for the provision of testimony. In the case of civil matters, the office provides required sworn depositions. To address the increased workload, two full-time Forensic Pathologists were added to the Office of the Medical Examiner this year. This is the first time in 12 years the Medical Examiner’s Office has been fully staffed.
“We are grateful for the expertise of the Monroe County Crime Lab and Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter. “In 2022, the City of Rochester has witnessed a 150% increase in individuals killed by gun violence versus the five-year average (2017-2021); leaving the staff at these two organizations to absorb the added workload required to process this increase in homicides. We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women at our Crime Lab and Medical Examiner’s Office who provide superior scientific analysis of forensic evidence and ensure families can properly mourn their loved ones.”
“The employees at the Monroe County’s Crime Laboratory and Medical Examiner’s Office are integral in our ability to prove a case,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “Behind the scenes, these men and women do everything they can to analyze evidence from running ballistics to issuing toxicology reports. After working with these employees for many years, I can tell you that they are some of the best in their field. We are very fortunate to have these great minds working with us to secure justice and protect our community.”
“The Monroe County Crime Laboratory is staffed by a dedicated team of highly skilled forensic professionals who work every day in hopes of providing important information that will help investigators find the truth,” said Director of Monroe County’s Crime Laboratory, John Clark. “National Forensic Science Week is a time to recognize the great work that they do every day.”
“As the homicide and opioid epidemic rates continue to climb across the county and the country, the Office of the Medical Examiner will continue to work diligently to aid its partners at the Monroe County Crime Lab, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office and the members of law enforcement in combating this scourge,” said Medical Examiner Dr. Granger. “We thank the Monroe County Executive, Adam Bello, for his continued support during these trying times.”
For more information on the Monroe County Crime Laboratory and the Office of the Medical Examiner, visit https://www.monroecounty.gov/safety-crimelab and https://www.monroecounty.gov/health-medicalexaminer.