The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is asking for almost $8 million from the state legislature for its crime labs. Half of that money is to keep crime lab employees from leaving.
The agency wants to raise salaries for its crime lab analysts, so it can compete with other labs.
The budget request said FDLE crime labs have seen a 39 percent turnover during the last five years.
Almost half the analysts left for better paying jobs. And that turnover has meant longer wait times for lab results.
FDLE spokesperson Gretl Plessinger said this trend could continue if the agency does not get the money.
“So, when a crime is committed and a local law enforcement agency is working a case and they submit evidence to FDLE labs, it’s going to take them longer to get that evidence back,” she said.
Plessinger said FDLE also wants roughly $4 million for things like new equipment, training and overtime in its crime labs.