RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As the work continues, the excitement surrounding the new DNA lab in Raleigh also continues to build.
“There is no stopping it now. It is very exciting that it has gone from what was our dream a number of years ago to now becoming a reality,” said Sam Pennica as he stood next to Chris Stark.
Pennica is the Director of the Raleigh Wake City-County Bureau of Identification. Thursday, Pennica and Stark, CCBI Assistant Director, showed CBS17 around the new lab.
“We are at the edge of the cliff looking over it right now,” Stark mentioned.
The new DNA lab is inside the Wake County Detention Center.
In November, Wake County and federal leaders announced the construction of the new lab.
Instead of sending DNA evidence to the state crime lab, analysts will be able to examine DNA in the new lab once it’s up and running.
“Wake County is responsible for about 10 to 20 percent of the DNA work done in the state crime lab. So, we take on that work that frees up all of those resources,” explained Pennica.
He said the construction on the space is done.
“We are almost done. We are going to start here in August probably just putting all of this together. Start buying equipment,” Stark stated.
As they await to receive the money to buy the equipment, two new DNA analysts have also been hired.
Laura Wilson is one of them.
“This will be where we see how much DNA is in a sample, if any and if there is, how much,” Wilson explained as she stood inside the instrument room.
The CCBI is hoping the new lab will be fully operational by the end of next year or possibly early 2024.
“We try to help make the society we live in safer and we try to help families and victims,” said Pennica.