Crime lab to get $1 million from feds

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Lab recently learned that it will receive $1 million of the $3.375 million allotted for fighting methamphetamine in Missouri.

The crime lab will use the money to renovate its current building so the Law Enforcement Academy can be moved into it, said Tom Schulte, an aide to Sen. Kit Bond. Bond is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved the spending bill Friday.

Dr. Chris McGowan, dean of Southeast Missouri State University's College of Science and Mathematics, which contains the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology, said the grant will also buy new law enforcement equipment.

McGowan said that the university hopes to be able to move the academy into the crime lab building by the beginning of the next academic year.

The renovation will give the academy a permanent location and will enable it to link with other education centers in Southeast Missouri.

After the spending bill is approved by the House and Senate and signed by the president, the grant money will be transferred to the National Institute of Justice. Then the university will write a grant application documenting how the money will be spent. That process is expected to take about six months. At least another six months will be needed to buy the equipment and complete the renovation.

Of the rest of the $3.375 million, $1.875 million will go to the Missouri Sheriffs Methamphetamine Relief Team, a partnership between sheriffs and regional task forces that put more employees in the field to take down meth labs and arrest meth producers.

In addition, $500,000 has been set aside for Children in Meth Labs, a project that works to improve the safety of children who are found living in a home with a clandestine meth lab.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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