Hennepin County Crime Lab Vote Postponed Until Dec. 12

December 06, 2017 07:55 PM

Hennepin County commissioners postponed a vote Wednesday on whether or not to change how the county crime lab is managed. 

They are scheduled to take up the issue again on December 12.


The plan pits sheriff Rich Stanek and some local police chiefs against county commissioners, who say studies have shown the change could save money.

"Independent forensic services guarantee impartiality and are the gold standard," commissioner Marion Greene said. "Additionally, it saves the taxpayers money."

Stanek said the proposal simply doesn't make sense.

He argues it would put the crime lab's management in the hands of bureaucrats rather than the sheriff's office. Stanek and a handful of police chiefs made their case at the county commission meeting meeting Wednesday afternoon.

"Make no mistake," he said. "To make a change like this would be a huge breach of the public trust."

The Hennepin County Crime lab provides services to 44 law enforcement agencies and cities. The forensics team of about 30 employees processes the scenes of burglaries, robberies, homicides and more.

RELATED: Sheriff Pushes Back on Major Changes Proposed for Hennepin County Crime Lab

Many criticized the commission for acting too quickly.

"We don't feel we've had any input in this area," Robbinsdale police chief Jim Franzen said.



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