Governor Hutchinson announced on Friday morning that Lowell will be home to the third Arkansas state crime lab, helping to improve law enforcement and relieve the back log of cases in Little Rock.
“The time that it takes for local law enforcement, you can see the challenge,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
A challenge now turned to victory for law enforcement in Arkansas especially for those in smaller communities.
“Particularly the more rural rural communities with small departments, when they make an arrest they can’t afford to have their limited resources driving to little rock and back,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
Many local law enforcement agencies were at the announcement today including departments like Tontitown police. Just the proximity of this new lab will be a benefit.
“It’s going to help all of Northwest Arkansas’ law enforcement agencies to sufficiently handle their cases in a more progressive timeline than sending it down to little rock,” said Capt. Wes Hart, Tontitown police.
Those behind the addition say this will be crucial as a large percentage of cases processed in Little Rock are from Northwest Arkansas.
“This is the fastest growing area of the state and since we get close to 40 percent of our toxicology and drug cases from this region it made perfect sense to have a footprint in this part of the state,” said Kermit Channell, Director of the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
The new lab will better serve those working to serve the community.
“Our law enforcement officers here do not have to take a day off to bring the drug samples down to little rock, so it’s just resource intensive,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
This new location is set to be open and operating by March 1st, 2019.
ORIGINAL STORY :
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Lowell will be home to the third Arkansas state crime lab.
Many local law enforcement agencies were at the announcement including Arkansas State Police.
With the approval of the legislature, the governor has allocated money to complete construction of the 10,000 square-foot lab, which will share space with the Arkansas State Police Troop L in its new headquarters.
Gov. Hutchinson said this will help increase law enforcement efficiency state wide.
He said this has been a challenge for Northwest Arkansas and state police and more than 35 percent of cases that come to the crime lab in Little Rock are from Northwest Arkansas.
The new facility is set to open on March 1, 2019.