Iowa Crime Lab Backlog Delays Some Prosecutions

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

It's taking longer to solve some crimes and prosecute some criminals in Iowa because of a backlog at the state crime lab.

The staffing has dropped more than 10 percent since 2006, to 49 lab staffers and criminalists. But over the same time period, the workload has increased. The case assignments rose to nearly 15,500 by June 30, this year compared with nearly 13,900 by June 30, 2006.

Bruce Reeve is the laboratory administrator. He says the staffing is just the reality his agency must deal with, like any other state agency.

Des Moines Police Detective David Smith says evidence in crimes against people, such as murder or robbery, often take precedence over property crimes, such as burglary.

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