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DNA backlog delaying sheriff’s office investigations

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:40 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office will ask County Council to spend more than $1 million on DNA lab equipment to speed up investigations.

Leadership from the sheriff’s office is expected to make the request Thursday before the county’s finance committee. The purchase of DNA equipment would be in partnership with the city of Charleston’s DNA lab.

Investigators say they are waiting months on DNA analysis results and the delay is affecting their investigation process. Deputies say DNA analysis results take at least three months for violent crimes and more than a year for property crimes. That analysis is performed at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s DNA lab, which is used by the majority of agencies in the state.

If the county had its own DNA equipment, that would allow them to process DNA results in 24 to 48 hours, which deputies say would allow them to solve crimes faster.

The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday.

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