City, county work together to buy new equipment for Columbus Crime Lab
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – New equipment coming for the Columbus Crime Lab represents renewed cooperation between Lowndes County and the city.
To get drug samples tested faster and narcotics cases to court sooner, in October, Supervisors approved the purchase of a new gas mass spectrometer for the Columbus Crime Lab, pending an agreement with the city about the equipment’s use and the county’s access.
With the interlocal agreement in place, Supervisors are finalizing that purchase.
Currently, the crime lab has a backlog of about 1,000 cases.
With the addition of the new machine, they should be able to double their daily output.
“Well, this equipment is very important to us, because it speeds up the process of our getting our drugs analyzed at the crime lab. Right now, there’s a backlog of cases that are not being processed, because they don’t have the equipment to get it done in a timely manner. So, speeding this up will not only help get our cases processed faster, but it will only speed up the court process as well. We’ve got a backlog in our docket, and people are not getting prosecuted in a timely manner. This also speeds up that process,” said Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins.
The drug testing equipment has a price tag of about $185,000 and will come out of the county’s share of ARPA funds.