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PSU KBI to Partner on Regional Crime Lab

Pittsburg State and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will use a model established at Washburn University in Topeka. The new space will offer space to several agencies including Kansas Highway Patrol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pittsburg Police Department.

Pittsburg State University announced a new partnership Thursday with another state agency.

PSU will partner with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to create a state-of-the-art regional crime center and laboratory that would serve law enforcement and at the same time provide educational opportunities for the next generation of forensic scientists and criminal justice professionals.

The KBI’s current regional office, located on North Broadway in Pittsburg, opened in 1999 in a rented property built in the 1950s. The university will expand its education offerings in the Criminal Justice field with the expected goal of doubling the number of graduates. The estimated cost is $40 million, which would be provided from a mix of state and federal funds.

The timeline calls for groundbreaking in January 2025, and completion in July 2026. However, before a long-term solution can be reached, the Bureau needs a short-term solution.

Until that facility can be completed, KBI and Pitt State will work together to create a temporary space for the KBI in the Tyler Research Center, home to the National Institute for Materials Advancement, which is located on South Rouse near the targeted site for the crime center’s future home. Modifications have begun on the temporary space with an anticipated move-in next Spring.

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Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.