Saturday, May 25 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-05-25 11:30:07 GMT
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, P. E. announced some road closures Thursday morning. Beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, the following streets will be closed for the Spring Fest and SBMore >>
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, announced some road closures beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, in downtown Albany.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:55 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:55:46 GMT
Not going out of town for Memorial Day? Don't worry, the Albany Panthers want to make sure you have a good weekend as they host their first ever beer fest. You can sample more than 20 types of beer SaturdayMore >>
Not going out of town for Memorial Day? Don't worry, the Albany Panthers want to make sure you have a good weekend as they host their first ever beer fest.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:50 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:50:57 GMT
The family of a Miller County woman is mourning tonight after GBI investigators say the 58 year old was murdered by her husband, before he took his own life. Now the family of Barbara Bass is speakingMore >>
The family of a Miller County woman is mourning tonight after GBI investigators say the 58 year old was murdered by her husband, before he took his own life.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:38 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:38:36 GMT
Dougherty County Police Officer issues seat belt citation
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend. They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe. Police saidMore >>
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend. They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:25:44 GMT
The Albany Dougherty County Post of the American Legion will be on the lawn of the Albany Mall Saturday morning at 8:00 to erect 122 white crosses. They are there to represent the men and women fromMore >>
The Albany Dougherty County Post of the American Legion will be on the lawn of the Albany Mall Saturday morning at 8:00 to erect 122 white crosses.More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Time's nearly up for three state crime labs.
The labs in Moultrie, Columbus, and Summerville will close in 14 days, although Columbus could be spared. Local law enforcement agencies have been given new locations to send their evidence. Tonight many are concerned about the backlog the closures will cause and what it will mean for how they protect the communities they serve.
Sheriff's across southwest Georgia say closing the crime labs won't just affect how they process evidence, it's going to affect how they run court, their budgets, and how many officers they can have on the streets to fight crime.
Right now it takes the Sumter County Sheriff's offices weeks to get evidence back from the state's crime labs, because of the heavy caseload. In two weeks when three labs close they fear it will be worse.
"The majority of the Sheriff's in southwest Georgia's concern is the back log that this is going to create," said Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith.
Sheriff Pete Smith worries court cases will back up, forcing the county to hold inmates longer, further stretching an already thin budget. Transporting evidence further also means fewer officers in Lee County.
"It puts and officer or two officers out of pocket depending on what it is to get that evidence to the crime lab," said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.
Two dozen southwest Georgia Sheriff's met this week in Valdosta to determine the feasibility of using the combined Valdosta/Lowndes County crime lab instead of state labs in Macon or Atlanta. Many are looking at the combined lab's cost.
"Depending on how many cases we already send to the labs, that's what, they could base it on that or per test and cost you that way," said Rachals.
As Sheriff's weigh their options, they don't want the state's to keep labs open at the cost of cutting a proposed 30 GBI agents.
"We certainly can't afford to lose any of them," said Smith. Sheriff's say, their case loads aren't decreasing. "Crime is not going to go away, we have to stay on top of it as much as we can and as fast as we can to try and curtail it," said Smith.
Curtail it to keep the communities they serve, safe.
Sheriff Pete Smith plans to make a trip to Atlanta Thursday to meet with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle about the labs. Right now, the state has 5,500 state inmates in county jails, who just haven't been picked up and moved to state facilities because of budget issues.
Columbus has agreed to pay more than $66,000 to keep its crime lab open through June. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has promised to try to get more state for the labs next fiscal year. It would take more than $110,000 to keep the Moultrie lab open until July first.