Budget Cuts Force Closure of 3 Ala. Crime Labs

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Budget cuts are prompting Alabama
officials to close three state crime labs and stop crime-scene
processing, which some police officers say will cause delays.

The Birmingham News reports that the Alabama Department of
Forensic Sciences will close the drug chemistry labs in
Jacksonville, Florence and Dothan to meet a 15 percent state budget

ADFS Director Mike Sparks said the employees at those sites
will be moved to larger labs elsewhere in the state.

Sparks said he is also ceasing crime scene assistance since most
of that work is done by local police officers.

His department conducts death investigations, processes DNA samples and analyzes drugs and firearms. It handles roughly 60,000 cases annually.

Jacksonville Assistant Police Chief Bill Wineman said the budget
cuts will be a "nightmare."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
AP-NY-06-19-11 1403EDT

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