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Vancouver crime lab on the cusp of expansion

first_imgA movement to clear the state’s backlog of rape kits may soon be centered in Clark County if lawmakers approve a bill to staff a new, high-throughput DNA testing lab at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Vancouver.“The testing will be done here,” said crime lab manager Bruce Siggins, motioning his hands to direct visitors’ eyes around a large empty room on the second floor of the building on Kauffman Avenue. “The renovations will be ready when we get the (scientists), so they can hit the ground running.”State House lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to pass House Bill 1166, which is aimed at addressing a backlog of more than 10,000 sexual assault kits collected by law enforcement statewide.(Trooper Capt. Monica Alexander, who is petitioning for the bill’s passage, clarified that various totals for the state’s untested rape kits reported by the media are a result of how the amount is calculated. Kits are at various stages of testing, and not all are counted by various agencies. About 8,000 to more than 10,000 kits have been reported.)The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. Despite the current viability of the bill, Alexander said the House Appropriations Committee did not fund the legislation.last_img read more