The Alaska Policy Forum has released a study of the State Crime Lab replacement project proposed by the Department of Public Safety.
- The study concluded that the needs assessment used to determine the size of the facility was based on outdated documents.
- The proposed lab would include services already offered by the State Public Health Laboratory across the street.
- While staffing has increased, the actual number of cases submitted to the current crime lab is about the same as it was 15 years ago; the proposal is to make the new lab four times larger.
- The site chosen for the new lab required wetland mitigation. The site is still valuable, and could be returned to the Municipality of Anchorage.
- The new lab was designed to include capabilities to respond to cases rarely encountered in Alaska, despite it being more cost effective to send those rare cases to FBI-approved labs who routinely handle them.
- The future costs of the project have the potential to pull funding away from other important responsibilities.