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Springfield Will Get New Crime Lab

Governor Blunt announced Monday funding is being made available to help bring a full-service crime lab to Springfield. KSMU's Michele Skalicky reports.

When the new crime lab is completed in the fall of 2008, it will be the state's 2nd full-service crime lab. Missouri Senator Norma Champion says a crime lab is needed here.

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says the state will pay $400,000 this year to be applied to the final purchase price of the building. The Office of Administration will enter into a lease-purchase agreement with the city of Springfield for the building that will house the crime lab at 440 E. Tampa. Blunt says the remaining money to purchase the building will be appropriated by the General Assembly.

The original plan was to fund the crime lab in one year. $1.6 million was set aside for the lab in House Bill 19, but the bill didn't pass.

The total cost of the crime lab will be around $5.9 million.

Major Ron Replogle, commander of the Missouri Highway Patrol's criminal investigation bureau, says the crime lab won't just benefit SW MO. He says it will have an impact statewide

The crime lab in Jefferson City opened in 1936 and services more than 500 police agencies across the state.

Turnaround time currently can be up to 10 months. Steve Hines, director of the Highway Patrol's crime lab division, says they'd like to get to the industry standard of a 90 to 120-day turnaround.

Hines says it will take a few years, but turnaround time at the state's crime labs should eventually drop to 3 to 4 months.