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Tour the San Mateo coroner's office, forensic lab today

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Those who prefer their Halloween thrills with an educational flair are invited to tour the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office and forensic lab today.

During the tours, which last roughly an hour and a half, employees will educate visitors on the tools used in their forensic work. Guests will get to see the office’s firearm collection and learn about the marks different guns leave; they will see how shoe prints are lifted; and how DNA and fingerprints are collected, among other things.

Forensic lab director Alex Karagianes says the tours help dispel myths spread by popular TV shows about how forensic work is done.

“People think a computer tells us the answer,” he said. “It really doesn’t. If just narrows down our search.”

Tours will be given every 10 minutes between 2 and 6 p.m. at 50 Tower Road in San Mateo. To reserve a spot, call Robin Foucrault at 650-312-5307.

Those who aren’t content to simply tour the lab can explore volunteer opportunities with the coroner's office, including becoming a radio operator or signing up to assist during major disasters.

The Bay City News contributed to this report.

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