State funding sought for western Pa. crime lab

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Officials in western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County are seeking millions of dollars from the state to help keep the county’s crime laboratory operating.

A joint state Senate and House Democratic policy panel holds a hearing Tuesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse on the funding problems of the Allegheny County Crime Lab.

Officials say the lab analyzes more than 19,000 pieces of evidence a year and gets money from state police but has had no funding from state lawmakers since 2011.

County executive Rich Fitzgerald wrote the governor in May that the county spends $4.65 million to operate the lab, a cost that he said “may not be able to be supported indefinitely.”

Officials say funding for the lab should be restored in the state budget.

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