The State Crime Lab has experienced turbulence in recent years but also made headway meeting goals since splitting from the State Bureau of Investigation in 2013, according to its director.
The lab can now process more submissions, Director John A. Byrd told the N.C. Court Commission Friday. From the previous fiscal year the state lab increased its case completion by 20 percent to 47,718, even as it also received an increase in submissions.
Turnaround time has also dropped and the lab has been able to hire and keep technicians and scientists, as well as keeping up its DNA database to help catch criminals, he told commission members.
Issues remain, however, including turnaround time, which is targeted at 180 days. As of Dec. 2, the lab had exceeded its goal and logged an average of 177 days. Beyond continuing to increase efficiency in the lab, Byrd said supply and equipment costs are mounting. The commission endorsed Byrd’s budget requests.
Lab competency was a point of attack for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in his race against Democratic challenger Roy Cooper, who won the election and who oversees the lab as attorney general.
Lauren Horsch: 919-836-2801, @LaurenHorsch