JACKSON – Joined by Governor Bill Lee, the Frazier family, and a number of federal, state, and local leaders, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officially opened the Special Agent De’Greaun Reshun Frazier Crime Lab and Regional Headquarters in Jackson.
The 46,513 square foot facility, located at 350 Smith Lane, sits just south of the McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport, and replaces the Memphis Crime Lab. With an additional 8,000 square feet, the new facility allows more efficient services to law enforcement agencies in the 21 counties the TBI serves in West Tennessee. It houses some of the newest technology and scientific instruments available and provides space for eight forensic units, though not all are currently staffed. They include Forensic Biology, Firearms, Toxicology, CODIS, Forensic Chemistry, Breath Alcohol, Crime Scene, and Evidence Receiving.
“Our new location in Jackson stands as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of Special Agent Frazier and will allow us to serve law enforcement and the people of West Tennessee more efficiently,” said Director David Rausch. “We are grateful for the support we have received from lawmakers and elected officials at the state and local level that has made today possible.”
The facility honors the service and sacrifice of Special Agent De’Greaun Frazier, who died in the line of duty during an undercover TBI drug operation in Jackson on August 9, 2016. Frazier, 35, was a 15-year law enforcement veteran and is survived by his wife, Shannon, and their two children, Kamaryn and Kendrix.
Special Agent De’Greaun Reshun Frazier Crime Lab and Regional Headquarters
- When was the new Jackson facility first proposed?
- The proposal was taken to the legislature in 2015 for consideration in the 2016 budget.
- Who previously owned the land where the facility sits and how was it obtained by the state?
- The 10-acre lot was owned by Jackson-Madison County. In May 2016, the city council and county commission approved donating the land to the state specifically for a TBI facility.
- When was the name of the building determined?
- In February 2017, Senator Ed Jackson, (R) of Jackson, proposed a bill to name the facility after Special Agent Frazier, who was fatally shot during an undercover drug operation in Jackson on August 9, 2016. The measure passed in both chambers and was signed by Governor Bill Haslam in March 2017.
- When was the groundbreaking held?
o July 10, 2018
- When did construction begin?
- September 3, 2019. The delay was due to the need for legislative approval for an increased cost of construction. By 2018, some of the original bids from 2015 were no longer valid due to increased costs.
- When was the building completed?
- Construction was completed in March 2021. TBI was able to begin moving into the building on April 1st.
- What is the total square footage?
- 46,513 square feet. Investigations includes 6,660 square feet; Training Rooms, 1,560 square feet; Crime Lab, 28,941 square feet; shared or mechanical areas, 9,352.
- The Memphis Crime Lab was 38,770 square feet.
- What was the final construction cost?
- $25.5 million
- How many forensic units are housed in the new Crime Lab?
- There is space for eight forensic units though not all are staffed. They include Forensic Biology, Firearms (including an indoor firing range), Toxicology, CODIS, Forensic Chemistry, Breath Alcohol, Crime Scene, and Evidence Receiving.
- Additionally, there are two climate-controlled vehicle bays that when combined are large enough to house a semi-truck for processing.
- How will the move improve service to the people of Tennessee?
- Moving the lab from Memphis to Jackson will increase TBI Crime Lab service efficiency for the western region of the state, as geographically Jackson is more centrally located. TBI processes evidence for every law enforcement agency in the state.
- Due to the location, Special Agent Forensic Scientists will be able to provide a better response time to violent crime scenes and officer-involved use of force cases for a majority of the region.
- With the added space, there is room for more staff to be added in the future, which would increase work capacity and shorten turn-around times.
- How is the TBI assisting law enforcement agencies in Memphis and Shelby County, as the move affects their travel time to drop off evidence?
- TBI has coordinated a weekly drop off where Special Agent Forensic Scientists will collect evidence and escort it to the new Crime Lab.