Hi-tech Crime Lab For Huntsville

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The need for a regional crime lab has become great in Huntsville, and beyond.
Local law enforcement agencies are continually faced with delays in the processing of forensic evidence, since evidence has to be sent out to larger cities like Houston and Dallas.

Congressman Kevin Brady, along with Sam Houston State University, and the city of Huntsville have been hard at work trying to obtain federal funding to build a regional crime lab at the university.

"Crime occurs in every community, but the smaller counties, smaller cities, just sorta take a back seat to these big cities in their crime results and we want them to be treated, equally, quickly, and timely," said District 8 Congressman Kevin Brady.

Brady has championed the cause in the house and is working with the senate to get a crime lab approved. Already, great strides strides have been made to that end. The challenge, he says, is funding it.

"We have requested $1.5 million to get this started and we feel confident we'll get a good part of that allocated from Washington," said Brady.

Walker County Sheriff Clint McRae spoke of the hardships the police departments and communities face by having to send evidence out. "The time that it takes to get your report back on whatever the case may be, whether it is a homicide or a narcotics case, we have got the suspects out walking our streets,"said McRae.

The creation of lab would allow law enforcement within seventy-five miles to utilize the crime lab, however it's not only law enforcement that will reap the benefits.

"Not only will it address the agencies' needs in this area, but it will also provide a great educational opportunity for our students," said Vincent Webb the Dean of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University.

The creation of the lab would provide a great training ground for forensic science students, where internships will be offered.

Congressman Brady says Washington will decide on the funding of the lab sometime around Thanksgiving.