KBI Makes Push For Crime Lab Funding

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is hoping that more than a decade of efforts to build a new crime lab and replace the cramped, limited confines of an old 1928 Topeka junior high school are about to come to fruition.

The agency is seeking $3.5 million from legislators to begin a partnership with Washburn University to construct a new, $55 million lab on its campus to open in 2015. The issue is one to be resolved when legislators return to Topeka on May 8.

KBI Director Kirk Thompson says the needs and expectations from local law enforcement are increasing. As of early February, the KBI had a backlog of nearly 2,400 toxicology samples and 900 DNA samples.

Thompson says the Washburn partnership would also help recruit and retain KBI staff.