Hutchinson Announces New Crime Lab Coming To Northwest Arkansas
LOWELL (KFSM) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday morning that the state will open a third crime lab next year, this time in Northwest Arkansas.
The crime lab will be built on a 25-acre site in Lowell. The main Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock opened a satellite office in 2004 on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope.
The new crime lab is expected to reduce the backlog of the main crime lab and will analyze evidence in criminal cases.
Nearly 40 percent of the state’s drug and toxicology cases originate in Northwest Arkansas, according to a press release from the governor’s office. That amount creates a bottleneck and creates lots of travel for both law enforcement officers delivering and picking up evidence and crime lab officials who must testify in cases in Northwest Arkansas.
“The new lab in Lowell will increase the speed that agencies in Northwest Arkansas get results in their cases,” Hutchinson said in the news release. “It also will allow the Little Rock lab to focus on homicide cases, which means investigators will have answers more quickly.”
The new crime lab will be 10,000 square feet and will share space with a new headquarters for Arkansas State Police Troop L.