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APD Crime Lab Joins Forces With Hays County
In an effort to keep jail population down, Hays County has joined forces with the Austin Police Department Crime Lab.
Assistant Chief of Austin Police Sean Mannix said the extra load in Austin's crime lab will not increase the back-log, instead, he said the partnership will help reduce the congestion of cases.
"Hays County criminals are also Travis County criminals and also Williamson County criminals," Mannix said. "They don't stay at home and commit crimes; they are mobile."
Mannix said Hays County is helping APD because while the lab chemist is not working on Hays County cases they will be able to work on Austin cases.
Officials in Hays County said tax payer money will be saved by being able to drug misdemeanors to court faster and resolved in weeks instead of months.
Austin tax payers will not be burdened through the agreement. Mannix said the joint effort will have a positive impact on those in Austin because when the chemist will be able to spend time on Austin cases when not working on cases from Hays County.
Hays County is footing the bill for the chemist to be working out of Austins crime lab. Drug misdemeanors will be the primary focus, but Hays County will also pay for the overtime hours spent on processing firearms, DNA and finger prints.
"We are putting together a fee schedule so that those services would be paid for on an overtime basis, so that wouldn't take away from our backlog at all," Mannix said.
By Cassie Gallo