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Grant helps WPD crime lab expand

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- City Council accepted a grant from the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program during Tuesday night's meeting.

The grant of $161,920.00 will allow the Wilmington Police Department to expand the capabilities of its crime lab.

The Department will add two jobs to the lab as well as new equipment with the money.

Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said the added manpower and supplies will cut down on turnover times of obtaining test results.

Evangelous said in the past it would take up to nine months to get the results of a blood alcohol test from Raleigh. Soon it will take only days to get.

With the new resources, the Chief expects the prosecution process to speed up.

"It allows us to move people through the system much quicker rather than incarcerate them and keep them in jail waiting for trial. We can move this to sort of plea or arrangement or trail much, much quicker," Evangelous said.

Evangelous said the grant will also help clear people faster as well.

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While the grant money is nice...

it will run out. The City will then need to come up with the funds to pay for the two new employees plus benefits. However, if this lab expansion will allow drunk drivers to be prosecuted faster, good for the lab. Unfortunately, the system does little to keep repeat offenders off the road.