Crime Lab Director Art

The Union County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday the appointment of Crime Lab Director Lindsey Richards (right), who was officially welcomed by Sheriff Eddie Cathey.

MONROE — The Union County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) announced on Friday (Dec. 17) the appointment of Lindsey Richards as crime lab director.

Richards has worked with UCSO since 2012 as a crime scene investigator, contributing to “many major criminal investigations,” per the UCSO report.

Richards will oversee the development and implementation of the UCSO Crime Lab and supervise all crime scene investigators; Richards’ new duties have already started.

With the construction of its new Administration building, a full-service crime laboratory has been designated that will provide a facility capable of testing and analyzing nearly all of the evidence collected during criminal investigations within the county, per the report. The capabilities of the lab will eventually include drug chemistry analysis, toxicology, DNA analysis and ballistics investigations.

In the press release announcing Richards’ appointment, UCSO reported the current capabilities of its Crime Lab are limited to latent fingerprint analysis and digital forensics. All other testing and analysis are currently being conducted by the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory.

According to the release, the State Crime Lab is “often overwhelmed by the volume of evidence submitted by law enforcement agencies, which can result in a delay in testing and results.”

The ability to test and analyze evidence in its own Crime Lab will provide deputies and investigators with results quickly and more efficiently, enabling deputies and investigators to make criminal arrests on active investigations sooner, per the UCSO report.

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