Unique behind-the-scenes look at local forensic lab

Reported by: Alyx Sacks
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Updated: 4/23 8:58 am
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- It stays in the background of law enforcement investigations, but plays a key role in solving crimes. This week the public will have a chance to go behind the scenes of the Washoe County Forensic Division to see what it's really like in a forensics lab.

Forensic science plays a key role in separating the innocent from the guilty. So even though forensic scientists aren't the ones knocking on doors and hauling suspects in for questioning, their work does.

The WCSO Forensic Science Division helps more than 80 different local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies across 13 counties. They test crime scene evidence, toxicology, DNA, and more.

"We're supporting the investigation. We're providing information to the law enforcement community," WCSO Forensic Division Director Renee Romero says. "It may help them find a particular suspect."

Now, the staff wants to show residents how it all works. It's an opportunity for anyone who enjoys television shows like CSI to see how a real life forensic lab works.

"I think the media attention through things like CSI has brought a lot of attention to forensic science, which has helped in some ways, but it also brings a false perception of what we do," Romero says. "We're not out there interviewing suspects and victims and solving crimes. We're a support arm."

The open house is Thursday, April 24 at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office at 911 Parr Blvd. in Reno. The open house begins at 8:30 a.m. and doors will close at 4 p.m.

If you plan on bringing a group of more than 10 people you're asked to call the in advance, 775-328-2800.

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