Ballistics lab in Saskatoon means firearms analysis can now be done in province

Testing a firearm strapped to a bench. (CBC - image credit)
Testing a firearm strapped to a bench. (CBC - image credit)

Police say a new ballistics lab now open in Saskatoon will cut the time spent on investigations by keeping firearms analysis in the province.

Acting interim police chief Dave Haye said investigators should also able to link firearms to more than one crime.

"When we do have a crime involving a firearm, or a firearm has been shot or seized, we're going to be able not only to link that firearm to the actual crime, but it's going to help us link it to other crimes," he said Monday.

Police showed off the ballistic lab's temporary home at the police station on Monday. It will ultimately move to its own building.

Haye said the opening of the lab comes at an important time, as violence in the city is rising. Police are investigating nine homicides right now, four which involved guns. Guns from these investigations could well end up at the local lab, instead of being shipped to Surrey, B.C. or Ottawa for analysis, he said.

Saskatoon police responded to 148 violent crimes last year, 47 which involved someone shooting a firearm. Officers seized 734 firearms.