OSP might close only forensic lab in Eastern Oregon

By The (La Grande) Observer July 31, 2014 03:22 pm

From The (La Grande) Observer: 

The future of the Eastern Oregon crime lab is up in the air.

Employees at the Oregon State Police’s Pendleton crime lab were told Wednesday that the OSP is considering all options for its forensic labs — including closing the Pendleton location.

Keith Kerr, director of the Pendleton lab, said the announcement came this week but that no decision has been made.

“The OSP are looking at the options for what to do with our laboratory due to budgetary issues,” he said. “They’ve been seeking input from our partner agencies.”

The Department of Administrative Services earlier this year issued a Request for Information regarding construction of a new lab to be sited in Pendleton. According to the DAS, there has not been any movement on that front.

“There’s nothing confirmed at this point,” said Lt. Gregg Hastings, OSP public information officer. “They are still trying to decide where to relocate.”

Closure of the Pendleton lab without construction of a new one would leave Eastern Oregon without a crime lab. An Ontario lab closed several years ago. Other state crime labs are located in Bend, Central Point, Clackamas and Springfield.