Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that funding has been authorized for increased staffing at the State Crime Lab. The funding is a reallocation of existing resources. In recent years, the lab has struggled to keep up with a dramatic increase in its workload and reductions in its professional staff. Since 2005, the overall workload at the lab has increased by 25%, but the volume of DNA evidence testing has increased by 400%. At the same time, there are 10% fewer scientists at the lab, many of whom are durational employees and depend on federal grants that may disappear in the near future. Last year, Connecticut's backlog ranked worst in the nation.
"I've been clear that the disarray at the State Crime Lab is unacceptable," said Gov. Malloy. "While the State Crime Lab Task Force's report is forthcoming, we could not wait until January or beyond to authorize these critical positions. People in Connecticut need to know that if they are the victim of a crime, their evidence will be reviewed professionally, thoroughly and in a timely manner."
"These positions will immediately help make progress in cutting through the backlog and completing the retesting necessary to restore our state's Crime Lab to the status it once was," said Michael Lawlor, Undersecretary for Criminal Justice at the Office of Policy and Management. "I thank Gov. Malloy for his swift action on this matter."
The Office of Policy and Management has approved funding for the following positions effective immediately:
* One Assistant Director -- Previously, the lab had one Director and two Assistant Directors. At this time, there is a Director, but no Assistant Directors.
* One Temporary Retired Worker (TRW) Forensic Science Examiner -- A retiree will be brought back to train a Hartford Police Officer that will work in the Firearms Testing Unit for three to four years through a partnership with the City of Hartford.
* Four Durational Forensic Science Examiner 1 (FSE1) positions -- These positions will help retest 3,032 DNA kit samples to ensure accuracy and will be needed for three years until that re-testing is completed.
* Six Connecticut Career Trainees (CCT) -- These CCTs will take the place of State Police Troopers currently doing the work at the State Crime Lab. Some number of troopers will remain at the lab to train the CCTs for a period of time before being reassigned to State Police duties.