SAN MATEO (KCBS) – Fans of CSI can get a first-hand look at how crime scene investigations are really carried out during a pre-Halloween open house at the San Mateo County forensics lab.

A mock crime scene will allow would-be investigators to try their hand at footwear impressions and firearms work.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

But don’t expect fast results with some of the other real world applications of biology and chemistry needed to determine blood alcohol levels or match DNA, said lab director Alex Karagianes.

“It takes a long time to do it properly, and the machines don’t do it for us. The computers don’t do it for us,” he said.

Fingerprint matches, for example, require eye balls.

While the lab will be decorated for Halloween, Karagianes said the squeamish will have nothing to fear.

“You will not see a corpse,” he laughed, because autopsies take place at San Mateo Medical Center.

The tours are available by appointment on Thursday and Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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