Quantcast

Charleston police, sheriff's office planning separate DNA labs - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charleston police, sheriff's office planning separate DNA labs

Both the Charleston Police Department and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office plan to build DNA testing labs. (Source: Live 5) Both the Charleston Police Department and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office plan to build DNA testing labs. (Source: Live 5)
Both agencies insist there is a need for two testing facilities. (Source: Live 5) Both agencies insist there is a need for two testing facilities. (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Taxpayers may have to foot the bill for two DNA testing labs in Charleston County.

The Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriff's Office plan to have their own DNA labs.

Taxpayers may have to foot the bill for two DNA testing labs in Charleston County.

The Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriff's Office plan to have their own DNA labs.

We first told you last month that Charleston Police plan to put a lab in a brand new $12.4 million building on Bees Ferry Road.

Thursday we learned the Charleston County Sheriff's Office also is planning to have their own DNA lab.

"There's a tremendous need for it in this part of South Carolina," Charleston County Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas said Thursday. "We're gonna be slammed with work as soon as we open this."

Lucas says the estimated cost for the sheriff's office DNA lab will be about $1.8 million.

That includes salaries and putting the lab in an existing building.

He says possible locations include the evidence compound at the site of the sheriff's office headquarters or the old work camp by the jail.

But is there a need for two DNA labs in one county? Lucas says yes.

"Once we get this capability it is going to expand the use of DNA tremendously and I doubt very seriously that even two DNA labs in the area will be able to keep up with the work," he said.

Charleston's new police chief Luther Reynolds also supports two DNA labs.

In a telephone interview, Reynolds said if it's done right taxpayers will see a good yield that will benefit public safety.

Lucas agrees.

"It gives us the opportunity to work more cases, hopefully to more successful conclusions," he said.

There is no timetable for opening the two DNA labs.

Chief Reynolds says he plans to meet with Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon in the next two weeks to discuss how to proceed.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly