Potential Cuts To North Dakota State Crime Lab - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Potential Cuts To North Dakota State Crime Lab


How much could Sequestration cuts impact North Dakota's law Enforcement and public safety resources?

Tim Purdon with the US Attorney's office says this week the state received a notice of potential cuts to the North Dakota State Crime Lab.

Purdon says the cuts are part of a number of cuts in the upper Midwest totaling more than $800,000, the crime lab could lose up to $78,000.

He says the lab plays a huge part in efforts to address growing drug trafficking problems in western North Dakota.

<<"With the increased population in western North Dakota we've seen an up tick, not surprisingly in criminal offenses and one of the things that really concerns law enforcement out here is the growth of organized drug trafficking organizations," Tim Purdon with the US Attorney's Office said.>>

But Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the federal cuts won't change the way the crime lab operates.

He says they've been dealing with a reduction in federal assistance for years and luckily the legislature has shown a willingness to step up and fund some of those positions that might otherwise be in jeopardy.

"Total budget here at the crime lab is over $9 million so what we're talking about is a potential reduction of some amount of a grant we applied for of $78,000, so in the whole scheme of things it's not all that much.  The thing that everyone needs to know is that the work here at the Crime Lab will continue, our turn around time continues to get better and better as the years go by and that's largely because the legislature has stepped up and funded these positions when Federal dollars diminish," Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said.

Stenehjem says last session the legislature added two additional people which will be funded through state dollars.



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