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Baton Rouge set to outsource some DNA tests amid backlog at State Police crime lab

1 month 1 week 17 hours ago Friday, October 21 2022 Oct 21, 2022 October 21, 2022 3:06 PM October 21, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The city of Baton Rouge will begin outsourcing some DNA tests to private labs to help alleviate the backlog of evidence at the State Police Crime Lab.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council recently approved $200,000 to have certain gun possession and gun cases DNA samples sent to private labs.

"The volume is a big problem for our crime lab here because they service Baton Rouge and Orleans, which is the biggest contributor at 40 percent, and Baton Rouge is 30 to 35 percent," District Attorney Hillar Moore said.

Earlier this year, the LSP Crime Lab had a backlog of more than 3,000 cases. The situation was so dire, law enforcement entities were told they could only submit five of their best samples at a time.

"We asked the mayor and the Metro Council particular for gun violence and gun possession cases to expedite those cases and take the load off the crime lab for a non-murder type case," Moore said. "Send it off... and we are in the process of working out those with that lab."

The $200,000 budget could go quickly. One sample submitted costs about $500 to process at a private lab. Depending on the test, others could cost $1,900. The hope is to not delay justice for families.

"All are urgent, but some are more than others, and they will work day, night, weekends to place that case in front of others and expedite that case," Moore said.

Moore hopes to have a final agreement in place with a private DNA lab in the next month.

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