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State crime lab softens
stance on outstanding fees
[Jackson, MS]

January 07, 2001
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State crime lab softens
stance on outstanding fees
[Jackson, MS]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(JACKSON, Miss.) -- Despite letters threatening to cut services to local police departments with outstanding bills, the state Crime Lab will continue to analyze DNA, fingerprints, and forensic evidence for delinquent departments.

In August the lab threatened to cut services if payments were not received by Oct. 1, 2000.

But Crime Lab director Ken Winter told the Clarion Ledger last week, "That's not going to happen."

Although the lab is owed over $200,000 in back fees, Winter said that he is willing to work with local law enforcement agencies that are having trouble paying for lab work.

Holmes County Sheriff Willie March, whose department owes $56,000, said that he was not aware that paying for lab services was his responsibility. Aside from that he told the Clarion Ledger, his budget does not permit him to pay the bill.

March said that he had thought lab fees were being billed to drug defendants.

"There is no way we can go back and pick up anything past due," Davis told the Ledger. "Not $56,000. We would have to close down."

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