Senate earmarks funding support for crime lab

Friday, July 19, 2002

Southeast Missourian

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday earmarked $970,000 for added equipment and other improvements for the Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Lab.

The lab is relocating to a former Southeast Missouri State University warehouse at the corner of South Ellis and Merriwether.

The $2.1 million renovation project is expected to get under way later this summer and be completed by May, said Dr. Robert Briner, crime lab director.

Briner said the $970,000 isn't part of that project. The money might be used to construct classroom space in the building for the university's law enforcement academy as well as for a teaching laboratory for the forensic program. It also could fund new equipment. The exact use of the money hasn't been determined, he said.

Briner said the old warehouse has plenty of space for the crime lab and the law enforcement academy.

"There are 14,000 square feet and we are using only 8,000 square feet," he said.

The $970,000 appropriation is included in a federal fiscal 2003 budget bill which still must be passed by the full Senate and the House and signed by the president before it takes effect.

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