After years of being ignored, the Michigan State Police forensics lab got a $3.1 million big, wet kiss from Gov. Rick Snyder today. And the lab may have Bridge Magazine to thank.
In Snyder’s annual budget proposal presented today, the governor proposes $3 million for additional staffing for the lab that tests alcohol and drug blood levels for police and prosecutors around the state. His proposal comes two weeks after Bridge Magazine revealed that the state’s last Ph.D toxicologist had resigned, leaving the state with no one who could offer expert testimony interpreting drug test results in courtrooms around the state.
At the time, Michele Glinn left the lab in October, the lab had about a third of its positions unfilled, meaning it took longer for prosecutors to get results back on cases.
When Bridge’s article ran, State Police officials said they were unsure whether they would fill Glinn’s position, or tell county prosecutors to hire their own expert witnesses to testify in drug and alcohol cases in which results are being challenged.
Snyder’s budget proposal provides $3.1 million from the general fund for additional staffing within the state police Forensic Sciences lab, "reducing the number of days for processing forensic tests for criminal investigations."