RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County officials, along with Congressional representatives announced the construction of a new DNA lab within the City-County Bureau of Identification on Friday.

This will be the second local government DNA lab in the state.

“Our criminal justice system depends on having timely, reliable information,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. “By adding this state-of-the-art lab to its facility, CCBI will be able to quickly and accurately analyze the DNA evidence its crime scene investigators find in the field, saving precious time and moving cases forward faster.”

The lab will be a tool in examining evidence and enforcing criminal laws, as well as avoiding wrongful criminal convictions. Not only will it support the Wake County community, but the state as well.

Currently, CCBI sends DNA evidence to the North Carolina State Crime Lab for analysis. Case submissions there have jumped 62% over the past five years.

According to the 2019-2020 North Carolina State Crime Lab Report, case submissions increased by 13.5 percent from 2019-20 and increased 62 percent in the last five years.

When the new lab opens, it will begin analyzing DNA evidence from Wake County cases in its own facility.

This change will free up resources at the state lab, enabling them to focus on evidence from other municipalities.