Drug cases causing backlog at state crime lab

Drug cases causing backlog at state crime lab
The Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock has nearly 11,000 drug cases waiting to be tested. (Source: KARK-TV)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KARK) - The turn around time for lab results on drug cases at the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock can now often take months to be completed, with state officials saying the hiring of four new chemists can help with the backlog.

According to a report from Little Rock television station KARK, the lab has a nine-month backlog with 11,000 cases waiting to be tested.

The lab's executive director, Kermit Channell, told KARK that illegal and prescription drugs have led to the backlog with the new chemists working to help cut down on the high numbers.

"We don't want to sacrifice the quality of our work to try to push out more cases," Channell told KARK.

The lab expects to have a seven percent increase in cases this year.

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