Public Safety Announces Vermont Forensic Lab Secure Following Flood

BURLINGTON, VT – 09/01/11 – The Vermont Department of Public Safety building was flooded by the Winooski River on Sunday night forcing an evacuation of the building, which is still uninhabitable.  Among the divisions of DPS housed in the building is the Vermont Forensic Lab, and while the lab has been uninhabitable all necessary security is still in place. The building is secure and the evidence has not been compromised.

"We don't have general power or clean water so we cannot accept evidence right now," Vermont Forensic Lab Director Peg Schwartz said. "However, the floodwaters did not otherwise affect the lab, no evidence has been compromised, and the building is secure."

The Vermont crime lab processes evidence for police agencies throughout the state and moved into its new quarters last year. The Department of Buildings and General Services is working to restore access to all buildings at the Waterbury State Office Complex and police agencies will be notified when the lab reopens.

"Systems are in place to protect evidence and make certain that criminal cases can proceed," Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said.  "Despite the widespread impact of Tropical Storm Irene, the Department of Public Safety will continue to provide services to the community to the utmost of our ability."

Police agencies with questions regarding the Vermont Forensic Lab, please contact Vermont Forensic Lab Director Peg Schwartz  via email at mschwart@dps.state.vt.us.

For media questions regarding the Vermont State Police and this press release, please contact Public Information Officer Stephanie Dasaro at 970-279-9773. For media question the Vermont Emergency Management, please contact Mark Bosma at the Emergency Operations Center located at the FEMA offices in Burlington at 802-951-2708.