United States

NH Senate Proposes Bill to Help Police Labs With Caseloads

New Hampshire's U.S. senators have introduced a bill to help police forensic labs that are dealing with a dramatic increase in the number of drug seizures requiring lab identification.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, say as there has been a surge in the use of heroin, fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, police crime labs in New Hampshire and elsewhere have been overwhelmed by requests for testing, often exceeding lab capacity and creating backlogs of untested samples.

Their bill would set up a grant program to help forensic labs keep pace with their caseloads.

The bill would authorize $10 million per year to be used for police forensic lab staff, equipment and overtime. The legislation, initially introduced by Shaheen in prior congressional session, also allows police departments to use these grants for additional field testing equipment.

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