Economy forces area crime lab to close - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Economy forces area crime lab to close

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The economy is taking a toll on almost everything. And, now its reaching crime fighting efforts.

The GBI crime lab here in Columbus will close down at the end of March due to a lack of money.

John Bankhead, GBI Public Affairs Director, says, "from an economic stand point and spending state tax payers money, the best approach as we see it is to shut down these labs and hire more scientists."

Local law enforcement disagree, calling the plan atrocious.

"I can't work a tool marking case, I can't work a DNA case, I can't work a fire arson case, it tales a crime lab analysis and I don't have the expertise," says Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley.

Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr agrees, "In my opinion the closing of the lab is just their not concerned this is not a high priority for them, they could make other cuts and keep this open."

Both those for and against the closing agree it will cause the courts to become even slower.

State Representative Debbie Buckner opposes the closing, "there is a potential huge backlog in courts.  It's like throwing a huge cog in the wheel of the justice system, by not having the info they need in a timely manner."

On the other side: "there will be an increase in the back log. Scientists have to travel to testify, and those type of impacts, but with the budget crisis, cuts have to be made," says Bankhead. 

There are already efforts to stop the closing.  Rep Buckner has already had meetings to find alternatives. And, Sheriff Jolley is meeting with the Georgia Sheriff's Association executive board on Wednesday to brainstorm.


©2009 WTVM. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • College student arrested; tried to trade chicken alfredo, Sprite for sex

    College student arrested; tried to trade chicken alfredo, Sprite for sex

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 3:38 PM EST2017-12-13 20:38:04 GMT

    Youngstown State University student Albert Maruna was caught red-handed and arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover officer.  

    More >>

    Youngstown State University student Albert Maruna was caught red-handed and arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover officer.  

    More >>
  • Roy Moore responds after Senate loss to Doug Jones

    Roy Moore responds after Senate loss to Doug Jones

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 10:58 PM EST2017-12-14 03:58:33 GMT
    (Source: Moore campaign)(Source: Moore campaign)

    Roy Moore has released a statement following his loss to Senator-elect Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.  Moore released a video to the people of Alabama. The transcript is below: Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I want to thank her and all my family, for standing with me through this long and arduous campaign. And of course, I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country. We ...

    More >>

    Roy Moore has released a statement following his loss to Senator-elect Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.  Moore released a video to the people of Alabama. The transcript is below: Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I want to thank her and all my family, for standing with me through this long and arduous campaign. And of course, I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country. We ...

    More >>
  • Dan Johnson: KY State Rep. kills himself in Bullitt County

    Dan Johnson: KY State Rep. kills himself in Bullitt County

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 11:29 PM EST2017-12-14 04:29:43 GMT

    Kentucky state representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide, days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

    More >>

    Kentucky state representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide, days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly