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Target Forensics Lab will give the public a chance to test its crime scene investigation skills in a realistic, hands-on setting

June 4, 2008

Washington, DC TargetWith the enormous popularity of television programs such as "CSI," Americans have become fascinated with forensic science. Now, through support from Target, the public will get a chance to try its hand at analyzing evidence and solving crimes in a realistic forensics lab inside the new National Law Enforcement Museum.

The Target Forensics Lab is expected to be one of the most popular exhibitions in the Museum, which is scheduled to open in downtown Washington, D.C., in 2011. The goal is to help Americans better understand the science behind forensics and more fully appreciate the hard work and dedication of the professionals who investigate and solve crimes. Target's contribution is one of the largest to date in support of the first-ever Congressionally-authorized museum dedicated to the history and sacrifice of law enforcement in the United States.

Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to support and enrich the communities it serves. Today that equates to more than $3 million every week to support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism. Supporting the National Law Enforcement Museum furthers one of Target's social services priorities of working to build safer communities as well as its commitment to education.

"Target is deeply committed to doing all that we can to help law enforcement build safe and secure communities," said Brad Brekke, vice president, assets protection, Target. "Our philosophy is that when our communities are safe, everyone benefits. Sponsoring the forensics exhibit is a natural extension of the resources and expertise we offer to law enforcement, including our forensics capabilities."

"We hope that our contribution to the law enforcement museum will serve as a great educational destination for students and families," said Laysha Ward, vice president, community relations, Target.

"To most Americans, television presents crime solving as a simple, almost routine process that takes 60 minutes, minus the commercials. But in reality, crime scene investigation is an intricate, scientifically grounded process," said Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which is leading the effort to build the National Law Enforcement Museum. "Thanks to generous support from Target, we will be able to show Museum visitors, including school-aged children from across the country, what really goes into investigating crimes and how modern forensics labs are helping to bring criminals to justice and make our communities safer."

Part of Target's support for social services is a focus on safe families and communities. This is the inspiration for "Target & BLUE," which works to create healthy, safe and vibrant communities by sharing information, technology and expertise with law enforcement. The Minnesota-based retailer has its own crime laboratories primarily to investigate safeness, theft, fraud and other crimes involving its more than 1,600 stores. However, the labs are frequently called upon to assist local, state and federal law enforcement in investigating crimes unrelated to Target. Target's lab has been instrumental in solving a number of felony criminal cases in the United States and internationally.

The Target Forensics Lab in the National Law Enforcement Museum will feature six stations - fingerprinting, trace analysis, blood spatter analysis, DNA, toxicology, and firearms toolmarks and impressions - as well as an opportunity to explore forensic accounting, entomology, and a realistic medical examiner's office. Museum visitors will be able to "take the case" - one of four real crimes featured in the Museum - collect evidence and analyze it in the Target Forensics Lab before identifying a suspect.

The National Law Enforcement Museum was authorized by Congress in 2000. The architecturally inspiring, 95,000 square foot, mostly underground museum will be located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. When it opens in 2011, the Museum will provide an estimated 600,000 visitors a year with a compelling look at law enforcement in America.

The privately funded Museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign, with more than $35 million raised to date. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton serve as co-chairs of the National Honorary Campaign Committee. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, including a virtual tour, visit