Officials Want More Scientists Hired to Test DNA

March 1, 2006

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The Cook County State's Attorney wants the governor to include money to hire more forensic scientists at the Illinois State Police crime lab.

Dick Devine joined the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in a press conference today.

They say the state's practice of outsourcing some DNA testing to a private contractor isn't working.

Devine says he prefers the testing be done locally by experts at the state police crime lab.

""We have 940 prosecutors in our office, thousands of cases that go through our system every year,"" he says. ""And I can tell you everybody in our office who I have ever talked to would much prefer to have the Illinois state crime lab doing the work.""

AFSCME says a backlog in DNA testing may be responsible for delays in arresting suspects and prosecuting cases.

The governor recently outlined a plan to eliminate the practice of outsourcing DNA samples.

His budget includes funding to hire eight new forensic scientists immediately.


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