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State Lab 'caught up' with processing rape kits and other evidence

Drew Wrigley was sworn in as the new ND Attorney General
Poppy Mills/NDDOT
NDDOT - Photo Archive
Drew Wrigley was sworn in as the new ND Attorney General

North Dakota's Attorney General says the state crime lab has now caught up with processing such things as rape kits and firearm evidence.

Drew Wrigley said in 2022, he heard a lot of complaints from law enforcement about a backlog.

"We address that with some grant dollars we received, so we could pay overtime, utilizing the existing staff that we have," Wrigley said.

Wrigley said the backlog has now been erased. He said he also went to the Legislature for more staff for the crime lab.

"We got two fingerprint examiners, we got two firearms examiners, we got three new lab technicians on DNA, on blood and drugs," Wrigley said. "We're in the process of hiring those — and we're excited about that."

Wrigley said he hopes these will help the crime lab stay ahead of the game. He said the new staffers will help address a "new normal."

"With a number of narcotics testing, blood tests and other evidence, these need to get done," Wrigley said.

Wrigley had also pushed for an expanded lab. He said the Legislature did not approve that, but did call for a study of the crime lab's needs."

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