• Governor-elect Martinez vows to keep analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid in Burque. FBI refuses to weigh in. Darren White does.
  • Snow? It is almost midnight and there is no snow in Barelas. Yet. 
  • Lobos beat Texas Tech - barely!
  • A thousand points of well-calibrated light.
  • The fresco inside the Torréon at the National Hispanic Culture Center in Barelas is worth a look.
  • Man turns in 50 cats to Albuquerque shelter. Many are now up for adoption.
  • The principle for day 5 of Kwanzaa is Nia, which means purpose. Some say this means doing something with purpose today (and every day). Here's one purposeful action you can do to help support hungry people in our community. Dropping off some non-perishable food at your favorite food bank today is another way. Do it. 

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Comment by shotsie on December 30, 2010 at 8:18am
Knowing the head of the ABQ lab, I can tell you that this is a politically motivated move - there is no $400K savings (especially after making the move - it's a good opportunity to lose evidence and data) - and they would definitely lose most if not all the current employees who know their job very well (any replacements would cost more and take time to come up to speed).  I don't see how the processing for the DNA can suddenly speed up from 8 weeks to 1 week without adding personnel and equipment.  The head of DPS "fired" my friend, even though he works for APD, and they're making the move with less than one week remaining of the current administration.  I expect a lot of DPS heads to roll up in Santa Fe - and I'm not a Susana M fan, but she does know the legal system pretty well - this is the wrong fight to pick with her.
Comment by hettie on December 30, 2010 at 1:57pm

having read the article, it seems the move will result in dna evidence being processed "in-house" in santa fe, rather than being sent out of state from abq, which will dramatically reduce the time it takes to get evidence.  my question is: if they can do it in-house in santa fe, why are we sending it out of state in the first place?  and the argument that the move is being resisted in order to keep people in jobs that maybe aren't necessary does hold some water--this is new mexico, after all, where nepotism in employment and politics--for both parties--is an honored tradition.  there doesn't seem to be any evidence from denko to explain where the savings will come from (possibly through staff cuts), but $400,000 is nothing to sniff at in terms of a single government entity. 

 

I have to agree with kenny that the indignant bluster from martinez and white isn't backed up by any real argument yet.  the article points out that the current administration has been trying to make the move since early this year, but it's been opposed.  martinez's statement claims lots of opponents but doesn't make any mention of why they're against the move.  with white being so vocal about this, you wonder what the reasons are for keeping the lab in abq and why he--or any other opponent--hasn't shared them yet. 

 

I found one article in which martinez claims the issue is the possibility of "cross-contamination" of evidence that might compromise cases.  her quote in the article I linked doesn't make any sense to me, as she seems to be saying that a lab that handles samples related to crime and chain-of-evidence can't be trusted not to screw up if they have to deal with samples related to crime and chain-of-evidence. 

Comment by Barelas Babe on December 30, 2010 at 3:03pm

@Hettie - that is an interesting article. What grabbed my attention was this: 

 

With the lab in Santa Fe, he said department technicians would be able to process samples in-house and upload them in one week. Currently, samples are analyzed by two independent labs for verification and that can take as long as eight weeks.

 

I don't know enough about the reasons for having two independent labs verify samples (reduces the chances of error, keeps the process honest, or something else?), but it does make me wonder whether a possible downside to this move might be removing some of the checks that are currently in place. Anyone know?

Comment by hettie on December 30, 2010 at 5:12pm
bb, that's a really good point.  I wonder what evidence is currently processed in santa fe and if there are any built-in checks for the existing process.  maybe the solution is to set up a lab in abq and have santa fe do the verification?  (pretty pointless suggestion, I know, given the state budget and current political tussling.)

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