Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

December 24, 2013

Another View: Crime lab case backlog unacceptable

For years now, our police officials and neighbors have had to wait, wait longer, then wait even longer for lab results from criminal cases.

The most recent case to impact our community is the investigation into a baby boy’s death at a local day care facility.

In September, a state investigation revealed that a care provider gave the “fussy” baby a painkiller before putting him down for a nap from which he never woke. But the criminal investigation, and final determination of the cause of death, still hangs in the balance. Did the little boy die of SIDS, a congenital defect, or was it the painkiller?

We don’t know. Why? The toxicology and other results from the baby’s autopsy are pending at one of three state labs that handle such specimens.

That’s more than three months of waiting for the day care provider, for the baby’s grieving family and for law enforcement.

But, wait, sayeth the director of the state lab — that’s a better turnaround time than it was just a few years ago.

Whew. What a relief.

Now, instead of waiting six to nine months, results are often back in three months — or longer — depending upon the situation. And, if we’re willing to wait until 2016, there may only be a 30-day turnaround. Maybe.

This level of service is just not acceptable.

Because of this notorious backlog, some communities in Michigan are looking into the possibility of opening their own crime labs.

We urge our county officials to consider the possibility of creating its own county, or tri-county, lab that could service our needs more quickly and efficiently. Crimes would be solved more quickly, families would get more immediate answers and justice would be swifter.

While the upfront investment would be costly, that investment could pay off in time.

Grand Haven Tribune

1
Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid