Backlog swells at Washington state crime lab - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Backlog swells at Washington state crime lab

SEATTLE, Wash. - Proposed state budget cuts could worsen a backlog of ballistics cases at the Washington State Patrol crime lab.
     
A shortage of examiners has already created backlogs of up to a year. On average, it takes state experts more than six months to complete ballistics tests in cases involving firearms.
     
Governor Chris Gregoire has proposed cutting jobs from the crime lab in the face of a soaring state budget deficit. The lab's acting director, Larry Hebert, says all the fat has already been trimmed from his budget, and any further cuts could mean a reduction in services.

Washington crime lab backlog delays investigations

(January 5, 2010)

A backlog at Washington State Patrol crime labs is holding up some Snohomish County cases, including police shootings.
     
State lab acting director Larry Hebert told The Everett Herald there's a shortage of qualified technicians.
     
At least three officer-involved shootings in Snohomish County await test results from state labs. They include the deputies killing men in May near Granite Falls and on New Years Eve in Bothell and a Mill Creek officer firing Saturday at a suspect on I-5 who was not hit.
     
Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Hover says detectives have been told to expect delays of up to a year on ballistic evidence, but results can be speeded up for priority cases.

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