COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's attorney general is highlighting a drop in the time it takes the state's crime lab to process evidence.
Improving the crime lab was a campaign priority for Attorney General Mike DeWine, who took office in 2011.
DeWine says that in December 2010 state investigators took roughly 125 days to process biological evidence, typically blood or other body fluids that could link a suspect to a crime.
The average turnaround time last year was about half that. And in December, the lab took a record low of 20 days for results.
DeWine on Friday attributed the faster processing to hiring more forensic scientists, adding equipment and doing a top-to-bottom analysis of how the lab handles evidence. The lab's staff size increased from 110 in January 2011 to its current 136.
Michael Velten, assistant laboratory director for BCI in Richfield, said the improved turnaround time is significant.
"Anytime that we can go ahead and give investigative information to law enforcement in a quicker fashion, that's better for law enforcement," Velten said.
Inspector Bill Holland said the Summit County Sheriff's Department has noticed faster results from evidence submitted by investigators.
"A shorter turnaround time, as far as having evidence prepared for trials or court proceedings, is definitely very important. Reducing the turnaround time is going to help us out identifying suspects and linking people to crimes scenes and the victims," Holland said.
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