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JACKSON – Joined by Governor Bill Haslam and a variety of other state and local leaders, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation broke ground today on a new laboratory and regional headquarters in Madison County.

The Special Agent De’Greaun ReShun Frazier TBI Crime Laboratory and Regional Headquarters will be built on a plot of land on Smith Lane, just south of the Jackson Regional Airport. When it opens in late 2020, the approximately 50,000-square-foot, approximately $20 million facility will replace the Memphis Crime Lab, allowing TBI to provide expanded and more efficient services to agencies across the 21 counties the TBI serves in West Tennessee.

TBI’s new facility will include designated space for eight forensic units, including Forensic Biology, Firearms, and Toxicology, along with office space for Special Agents, and designated meeting rooms for future training events.

“We’ve worked with an experienced architectural designer to make sure our new laboratory is as state-of-the-art as possible,” said Donna Nelson, Crime Lab Regional Supervisor. “Having a larger, more efficient workspace will improve workflow, helping our Forensic Scientists provide even better services for our law enforcement partners across West Tennessee.”

The facility will be named to honor TBI Agent De’Greaun Frazier, who died in the line of duty during an undercover TBI drug operation in Jackson in August 2016. Frazier, 35, was a 15-year law enforcement veteran and is survived by his wife, Shannon, and their two children, Kamaryn and Kendrix.

“It’s a fitting tribute to our fallen Agent, who had a lasting impact on the Jackson community,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “We’re thankful to our partners at the State of Tennessee for providing the resources to make this project a reality. Our goal, as an agency, is always to improve, and that includes having the right resources – in the right places – to provide the services citizens expect from the TBI.”

The Special Agent De’Greaun ReShun Frazier TBI Crime Laboratory & Regional Headquarters FACT SHEET General Building Size: Approximately 50,000 Square Feet Estimated Completion: Late 2020 Estimated Cost: Approximately $20 Million  The facility will provide enhanced security to TBI’s operations in West Tennessee, and will be fully gated and monitored by an on-site TBI Uniformed Officer.  The facility plans include a large conference room for meeting space and planned training events for partner agencies and the West Tennessee community.

Laboratory Units Housed:  Forensic Biology  CODIS (This addition marks a planned strategic shift for the TBI, designed to maximize self-sufficiency and cost-efficiency. The TBI plans to generate DNA profiles from known arrestees and convicted offenders and minimize the upload time into the national CODIS database. Doing so will maximize the potential for investigative leads in faster fashion.)  Toxicology  Forensic Chemistry  Firearms (The new facility includes plans for an indoor range, marking a new addition to the capabilities of Scientists in this unit.)  Crime Scene  Breath Alcohol  Evidence Receiving Additional Features:  Climate-Controlled Vehicle Bays (TBI’s Memphis Crime Lab does not currently have a vehicle bay.)  Toxicology Walk-in Refrigerator (This addition provides for more centralized storage of evidence at decreased cost.)

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