GBI to host ribbon cutting for new crime lab in Pooler

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POOLER, Ga. (WSAV)- Two years of construction is over on a new building for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Officials said the new facility off Pooler Parkway fixes years of issues with their space on Savannah’s southside.

The thirty-four million dollar facility was expected to be ready to go by the end of last year. The current space on Mohawk street in Savannah dates back decades.

Officials said the expansion is long overdue as cities and crime continue to grow around our area.

State leaders broke ground on the thirty-four million dollar development back in 2017.

Former Georgia governor Nathan Deal explained the urgency for the project’s completion.

“We have a continuing obligation to protect the citizens of our state and that means we have to have the best facilities, the best equipment, and the best people,” said Deal.

The current GBI Coastal Crime Lab on Savannah’s southside serves30 counties across Georgia, more than any other lab in the state.

“It’ll have a huge impact on the local GBI, we’ve basically busted at the seems at the facility we have now,” said GBI of Coastal Georgia Lab director, Ross Butler.

Its new location off of Pooler Parkway will add a new medical examiner as well as a toxicology service.

Previously this kind of services were done in Augusta or in Atlanta, taking weeks to process.

“This would give us the capacity to react if there is a mass disaster that’s, that’s one thing our capacity has been limited here, ” said Dr. Edmond Donoghue, Medical Examiner with GBI. “We’re always worried about it, fortunately, we haven’t been challenged you know, but that could change in a minute.”

Officials told News 3 back in 2017, across the board, staff will see pay raises.

“It’s a necessary move, and we will be able to double the personnel for the next thirty to forty years,” said Butler.

Officials are hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow at 10 a.m. Governor Kemp is expected to be there. The new facility is located on Isaac La-Roche drive.

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