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Schimel proposing restructuring, more staff members for state crime labs

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is asking for more employees for the state’s crime labs.

Among other things, Schimel’s request calls for the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory Bureau to be restructured so that it has its own division within the state Department of Justice, which Schimel leads.

He is also asking for a pay-progression system for crime-lab analysts and permission to hire 14 full-time employees over two years. They would include forensic specialists, crime-scene response teams and a digital-forensics unit.

The additional employees would cost the state $1.6 million, according to a news release from Schimel.

“Though we have made all efforts within our authority to keep up with the changing and growing demands on the WSCL, we need the assistance of the Legislature and the Governor to make the necessary changes,” Schimel wrote in a letter to the state Department of Administration. The letter was sent in as part of his agency’s 2019-21 budget request.

The DOJ’s budget request was submitted to Gov. Scott Walker on Monday. Walker will review the request as he drafts his own budget.

About Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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