- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An abandoned fire station in west Tulsa is being turned into a crime scene investigation laboratory for Oklahoma State University students.

Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1Ls5rgG ) reports that the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences will transform the building into a space for its forensic sciences graduate program.

The facility will be used to train graduate students in crime scene investigation techniques and will provide training for area law enforcement officers.

“You can teach students until you’re blue in the face with textbooks and PowerPoint presentations, but until they get experience lugging their equipment into a crime scene and placing it in a way where it’s convenient and doesn’t disturb the scene, until they know what the mechanics they’ve learned look like, they’re not fully trained,” said Robert Allen, chairman and director of the School of Forensic Sciences at the OSU Health Sciences Center.

One room of the building will be coated with epoxy paint so that students can practice detecting bodily fluids and analyzing blood splatter. Garage doors, which were walled over from the original building, will be re-installed to allow students to practice vehicle investigations. The building will also be able to train canine units.

The facility will also be wired for video and audio so that students will be able to review their work to determine what they did right and ways they might’ve contaminated the crime scene.

“Right now, there’s not a place in northeast Oklahoma for law enforcement officers to get hands-on opportunities in crime scene investigations,” said Jackie Smithson, crime scene investigator with the Broken Arrow Police Department. “There are great classes that are available, but this will provide a lab setting and a controlled environment.”

The university bought the building at a city of Tulsa auction in 2014 for $135,000.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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