Those budget cuts we just mentioned are a sign that state agencies are trying to save money any way they can.
The state police are winning awards from the American Council of State Governments for one way they’ve come up with.
The state police’s 7 forensic labs throughout the state have invested in Internet-based video conferencing.
The conferencing programs give their analysts the ability to testify in any court in Michigan that also has the conferencing ability without having to leave the lab.
Their analysts have
Besides cutting costs, it helps them keep pace with their current caseloads.
Marquette crime lab director David Stephens says he’s hopeful courts around the state will avail themselves of the conferencing systems, too.
Some of them actually already have.
The Delta County Courthouse in Escanaba has the system.
It’s already being used, and it’s generating savings every time it is.
Stephens says each system costs about $15,000, but with about 1,000 requests each year for the forensic anaylsts to travel to court, each system more than pays for itself within a year.