01/11/2001

California governor wants new lab,
and crime fighting funds
[Sacramento, CA]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- With its present crime lab strained from the demands of a new law giving prisoners the right to DNA testing and the development of new crime solving technologies, Gov. Gray Davis says he plans to ask taxpayers for millions of dollars to build a new state lab and to allow local police to build or equip labs in their jurisdictions.

Sources told the Associated Press that Davis plans to seek $15 million in next year's budget for the new state crime lab.

In addition, the AP reported that the governor wants another $30 million to provide grants to local law enforcement to equip, improve or build new crime labs in areas having the greatest need.

The state's present crime lab, located in Berkeley, is under strain because of a new law giving more prisoners access to DNA testing in attempts to prove their innocence, the AP reported.

In addition, other laws set up a database to compare DNA from missing persons with DNA from unidentified remains and also allow police to match DNA from suspects with samples collected at unsolved crime scenes, the AP said.

In other proposed law enforcement spending in the state, the AP reported that Davis:

-- Wants $75 million to help local police buy equipment increasingly more needed to fight high-tech criminals who rely on computers to create everything from child pornography to instant identities.

-- Is seeking $11 million to combat identity theft, electronic fraud, counterfeiting, industrial espionage and software and compact disk theft.

-- Is expected to ask for $246-plus million in other aid to local law enforcement, the same amount as in the current year's budget.

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