New Milwaukee-area crime lab; groundbreaking held in Wauwatosa

WAUWATOSA, Wis. - A new state-of-the art crime lab is coming to the Milwaukee area.

Attorney General Josh Kaul was in Wauwatosa Friday, Nov. 10 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the future Forensic Science and Protective Medicine Facility, which will also include the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, and the relocated Organ Procurement Organization and Tissue Bank of Versiti Wisconsin.

<div>Groundbreaking for the new state crime lab in Wauwatosa</div>
Groundbreaking for the new state crime lab in Wauwatosa

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride were also in attendance at the ceremony, which was held on a 7.9-acre plot of land on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.  Versiti President and CEO Chris Miskel and Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, were also in attendance.

"I now that this new space will provide the amenities that we need, particularly for our Milwaukee County Medical Examiner who has needed a new location for many many years," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

<div>Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley</div>
Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley

The current Milwaukee State Crime Facility was originally retrofitted from a grocery store in 1983.  As time went on, more forensic disciplines were added and more people were hired, necessitating a new, larger facility.

<div>Future home of Wisconsin Crime Lab, Wauwatosa</div>
Future home of Wisconsin Crime Lab, Wauwatosa

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"We’ve gotten to a point now that to keep growing the way that we need to so that we insure that our technology continues to evolve, and that we’re presenting cutting edge, scientific work in criminal cases around the state of Wisconsin, we need a larger facility and that is what this is going to enable." said Attorney General Josh Kaul.

<div>Future home of Wisconsin Crime Lab, Wauwatosa</div>
Future home of Wisconsin Crime Lab, Wauwatosa

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Forensic Science was established as an independent division in 2019, although the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory was originally established in 1947. DFS employs more than 190 people, including forensic scientists, technicians, evidence specialists, and crime scene response professionals. They provide impartial forensic analysis in the areas of toxicology, drug identification, biology/DNA analysis, DNA database, trace evidence analysis, firearms examination, tool mark analysis, latent print examination, footwear analysis, ten print comparison, and forensic imaging and video analysis.

<div>Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul</div>
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul

DFS provides unbiased scientific testing and analysis of evidence for every community in Wisconsin and staffs on-call Crime Scene Response Units, located at each laboratory, to assist law enforcement at major crime scenes by processing and photographing the crime scene, providing scene documentation and trajectory analysis and maintaining evidence integrity.

<div>Future home of Wisconsin Crime Lab, Wauwatosa</div>
Future home of Wisconsin Crime Lab, Wauwatosa

The facility plans to open in spring 2026.