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Hamilton County Is A Step Closer To New Crime Lab

Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco happily helped break ground for a new crime lab in Blue Ash.

Discussions about a new facility started five-and-a-half years ago.

"Frankly we have outgrown the facilities that we have right now," she says. "We have new technologies that never existed 43 years ago when that building was built. That building houses more than double the people that it was meant to house right now. It was time. It was really time."

She says the new facility will be a leap forward for local criminology.

"It's going to be energy efficient as well as space efficient. A lot of things we don't have we will have in the new facility. We will have more flexible workspace so that as technologies come up, and we know there are going to be new technologies, we're going to be able to accommodate them."

Sammarco says the $55 million lab will be a regional facility. "We already process evidence not just for Hamilton County but for our surrounding counties. We charge for services that we provide for out-of-county. Those dollars come into the general fund for the county to use. This year we brought in over a million dollars. Last year, we brought in over a million dollars to the county's general fund."

Construction begins next year with completion expected late in 2019.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.