- Associated Press - Sunday, July 20, 2014

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Caddo Parish coroner Dr. Todd Thoma is enthusiastic about the criminal forensics lab rising in Shreveport.

He tells The Times (http://bit.ly/1rBWVDo ) the 86,000-square-foot, $24 million lab will open in fall 2015 with state-of-the-art equipment.

It will serve 29 north Louisiana parishes.

The North Louisiana Crime Lab is currently in a century-old former school. Director Jimmy Barnhill says the new building will be a great improvement.

Thoma says the lab will include equipment for forensic toxicology - something the current lab has never had. And he says toxicology, autopsies, and DNA and handgun analysis will all be in one building. Currently, he says, there are five buildings, and forms must be filled out whenever something is taken from one building to another.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com