The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Laboratory just celebrated 60 years in service. Originally housed in the Shubert Building at 488 North Wabasha Street in Saint Paul, the lab occupied 350 square feet. It started as a one-person lab offering chemical analysis and microscopy.
The lab grew quickly, in 1962 moved to University Avenue and became a division of the Department of Public Safety. In 1990, the BCA became one of the nationâ€™s first forensic laboratories to offer DNA analysis. Shortly thereafter, the BCA was the first laboratory in the country to identify a suspect based solely on DNA.
Now the Saint Paul headquarters located on Maryland Avenue is a state of the art facility housing the BCAâ€™s Forensic Science, Investigative, CriMNet, and Criminal Justice Information Services. The building has grown to 224,000 square feet with almost 106,000 square feet occupied by the laboratory. The laboratory became one of only four laboratories in the nation selected by the FBI to serve as a regional mitochondrial DNA laboratory.
The BCAâ€™s mission statement is committed to protecting Minnesotans by providing high quality services to the criminal justice community. Through their efforts they provide timely, personal service in partnership with law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.