The new director of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab began working for the office as an intern in 1999.
Brooke Ehlers was named the director by Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger this month. Ehlers had been working in the capacity as the interim director since August.
“I would like to congratulate Brooke on her great work and I am excited for the future of the lab and coroner’s office as we move into 2020,” Harshbarger said.
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The Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory is a full-service, forensic science facility dedicated to assisting law enforcement agencies with criminal investigations. As a director, Ehlers will oversee the lab and work with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
The crime lab and the coroner’s office are both housed in the same building.
Ehlers told the Dayton Daily News that the job has been a dream of hers for a long time.
“I started in 1999 as an intern for the crime lab. I went to Eastern Kentucky University and the summer before I graduated I was able to come here and do an internship and rotated through all the sections,” she said. “I loved the drug chemistry side of things and begged and pleaded that I really wanted to come back here. I am a local girl, I have family here, I love the people here, the work, the community and this is where I wanted to be.”
She began working fulltime for the office in 2000 and has since worked her way up to the head position. Because she has worked in the office for two decades, she said she understands the community issues better than most and the role the crime lab plays in helping law enforcement do their job.
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“Unfortunately, Dayton just had a horrific year,” she said. “Crime, drugs and homicides. So as Dayton PD and a lot of the other police agencies work through the issues all that evidence is coming to us and we need to be able to process through it and work with prosecutors and the law enforcement community as well.”
Ehlers said she is currently learning her new role and looks forward to leading the office.
“We have an amazing staff and great supervisors. Really the building operates itself” she said. “They do a great job.”