Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Grand Rapids suburb to create its own crime lab

Forensic Lab
Credit West Midland Police (UK) / Wikimedia Commons

A suburb of Grand Rapids wants  lab results faster than the Michigan State Police Crime Lab provides them.

So the city of Wyoming, Michigan, is setting up its own crime lab to analyze drugs and blood evidence.

The Wyoming City Council recently approved a $100,000 expenditure for the crime lab.

Curtis Holt is Wyoming's city manager. He said court hearings are often postponed because lab results are not back in time.  Among other things, this wastes the time of police officers who are required to be present even though the hearing will be adjourned.

"We believe there's a payback to gain efficiency and productivity for our cities," Holt said. "As we've all cut our staffs, in our case 30 percent, we're looking for every way to gain an advantage with the staff we have to provide better value."

Hot expects the cost of the crime lab to be earned back in less than seven years.  The state will reimburse Wyoming for the lab tests from court fees.  He says other communities may want to use Wyoming's lab as well.

Holt said Wyoming has already hired qualified people to work in the crime lab and has worked closely with the Michigan State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency to meet licensing requirements.

Virgnia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom