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Drug cases create backlog at state forensic lab

(AP) The director of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science says the growing number, complexity and safety requirements of drug cases submitted for testing has created a substantial backlog.

Linda Jackson asked the Virginia Forensic Science Board for more resources on Aug. 22, sharing figures on the rise of drug case submissions and the growing length of time to complete testing in a case, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Jackson says the law enforcement submitted 33,504 cases last year, up from 27,553 in 2015. Over that same period, the backlog grew from 3,924 to 10,625 cases.

Jackson says hiring is underway for six new positions, but the department needs six more controlled substance scientists. She also recommended outsourcing the work to a qualified lab as a temporary measure.

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