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Reviews Find Major Errors at St. Paul Crime Lab

Minnesota Issues
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ST. PAUL (AP) – Two independent reviews of the St. Paul Police Department’s crime lab reveal problems that are more serious than originally thought.

The problems include dirty equipment and poor documentation.

The reports released Thursday also show Wikipedia was used as a “technical reference” in at least one case. And lab workers destroyed at least one-third of all fingerprints after mistakenly saying they were unidentifiable.

In addition, there was no clean area for reviewing and collecting DNA. The lab also stored crime scene photos on a computer accessible to anyone.

Police Chief Thomas Smith says he’s concerned about the findings and will make changes to improve lab work.

The lab suspended drug testing in July after employees said they didn’t follow written procedures.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)

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