Photostory #2: Mobile Lab Speeds Science to Crime's Scene
National Film Board of Canada
March 31, 1955
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
With modern science playing an increasingly important role in the fight against crime, time has become a big factor in whether the result of intensive police lab work can figure in the capture of quick-getaway artists. To meet this challenge, Montreal has designed and built a lab on wheels that sheds time and distance in bringing science to the scene of the crime. The big two-tone green science wagon, operated by the Detective Department's Identification Bureau, serves the various squads within the force as needed. Some of the $15,000 worth of equipment tucked away in its compact van: Diving suits, ultra-violet lamps, a complete arsenal, and enough lighting equipment to flood a darkened city block with daylight. Since it first rolled into action the lab's effectiveness has been pointed out in thousands of cases, ranging from helping to recover stolen vehicles to investigating homicides. Notable among them: supplying bullet-proof vests, riot guns and searchlights when police flushed the cop-killing Steve Suchan gang from a Montreal flat.