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CPD drug analyst had high marks at first, but trouble came in 2013

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

There is more scrutiny of a major new problem for the Columbia Police Department. It surfaced late last week when we learned Chief Skip Holbrook was shutting down the department's drug lab.

The move came after serious concerns about equipment and procedures used by the city's only drug analyst, Brenda Frazier.

Frazier handled nearly 750 cases over the past three years. Her performance records show she started off as an asset to the police department, but over the previous two years concerns over accuracy were noted by her superiors.

Frazier began her work with Columbia Police in 2011 and had been working as a chemist since 1987. She has a Masters Degree and received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina.

Her initial performance evaluations from 2012 indicate Frazier was adapting well to the police department and that her work was "complete and error free." Overall, she received a rating of 4 out of 5 across all categories.

By 2013, supervisors noted Frazier was struggling with errors in her drug analysis. One evaluation shows supervisors gave her poor scores for judgement in following procedure and directions. She also had issues managing the volume of cases coming in. She was scheduled to attend three training courses to help improve her performance, but her rating at this point was 2.73 out of 5.

Now more than 180 of the 750 cases Frazier worked on are being reviewed.

We reached out to Frazier on Tuesday, but did not receive a response.

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