State agency reduces trace evidence processing

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Budget cuts have prompted the Virginia Department of Forensic Science to reduce its analysis of gunshot residue and several other kinds of trace evidence. Beginning Monday, the department is discontinuing routine analysis of trace evidence in what it calls general chemical cases, including cosmetics and unknown liquids or pastes. The agency also is limiting gunshot residue testing to evidence from the hands of suspects in cases where someone was shot. The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1valmLM ) reports that the department hopes to save about $168,000 in the fiscal year that ends June 30. More savings are expected in the next fiscal year.The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the cuts. Association executive director Dana G. Schrad tells the newspaper that police chiefs are concerned about the cuts’ effect on investigations.

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