North Dakota Crime Lab Understaffed in 2018, State Audit Suggests Solutions

Local News

An audit of the North Dakota State Crime Lab found while their workload is increasing, their staff is decreasing.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says they had to cut three key employees in 2017. The Governor required every agency to cut their budgets down five percent.

Since then, the lab has seen a spike in DNA testing, double from years past. The AG says this is great news for solving crimes, but not great news for the victims in many of these cases, waiting for justice.

This year, North Dakota lawmakers approved the addition of one more DNA Analyst.

When the cuts were made, the lab had a record-high turnaround time for DNA: over 200 days. Now they’re down to 116, and Stenehjem hopes with the new Analyst starting July 1st, they can get the turnaround time down to 30 or 60 days.

The North Dakota Attorney General adds, “It’s essential for the DNA, especially if it’s a homicide or a sexual assault. This could be somebody out committing other crimes.”

Another suggestion from the audit is to charge law enforcement for DNA testing. The AG says he’s very hesitant to do so because it could discourage police from bringing in crucial evidence.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Lincoln PD

Thumbnail for the video titled "Lincoln PD"

Airman Awarded

Thumbnail for the video titled "Airman Awarded"

Thursday, November 21st, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thursday, November 21st, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Savanna's Act

Thumbnail for the video titled "Savanna's Act"

Olivia Lone Bear

Thumbnail for the video titled "Olivia Lone Bear"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/21

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/21"

Stanley Elementary

Thumbnail for the video titled "Stanley Elementary"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/21

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/21"

Pardons

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pardons"

Amber's Thursday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/21

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber's Thursday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/21"

Thursday Forecast: Sunny & Cold

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thursday Forecast: Sunny & Cold"

Kids Dieting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Kids Dieting"

Keep Clean this Flu Season

Thumbnail for the video titled "Keep Clean this Flu Season"

BSC Women's basketball team

Thumbnail for the video titled "BSC Women's basketball team"

Homeless Children

Thumbnail for the video titled "Homeless Children"

A Year Later: State Pen Prisoners Discuss Solitary Confinement

Thumbnail for the video titled "A Year Later: State Pen Prisoners Discuss Solitary Confinement"

Fort Lincoln

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fort Lincoln"

Fine Arts Grant

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fine Arts Grant"

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

BSC VBall

Thumbnail for the video titled "BSC VBall"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge