Committee Looks at Reviving Crime Lab

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Most of the time, the Brazos Valley Regional Crime Lab in Grimes County sits empty. There's plenty of equipment, just no one to use it.

The former technician left for a higher paying job. Since then, crime solving has slowed down because cases have to be sent to the DPS lab in Dallas.

"I've had some law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs tell me that some cases just get dropped because it's taking so long to get that evidence back from DPS," said Linda McGuill with the Brazos Valley Coalition of Governments.

McGuill sits on the committee trying to revive the lab. McGuill said it can take up to a year to get results back from DPS. Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell agrees saying the wait is tough, especially this year when Grimes County has had over four homicides.

Hope is on the horizon, but only if Governor Perry approves a grant proposal. If funding comed in, the committee plans to purchase more equipment and at least three people to staff the facility.

"Cooperation like this just makes our area better, because we're north of the Houston metro area and we're a growing area that's got a need for it," said Sowell.

Once brought to full operation, the crime lab will serve seven area counties. To do that, it may need to change locations .

"The group wants to find a neutral location. They really don't want it associated with one particular jurisdiction. They want it kind of on neutral ground and they want it as most centrally located as they can," said McGuill.

Blinn College has offered up space at both the Bryan and Brenham campus. Committee members say if the grant isn't approved, they will look at other means to fund the crime lab.