The only forensic crime lab in Southern Illinois is scheduled to close by this time next year. The governor is consolidating the crime lab in Carbondale with a new facility in Belleville in order to save money.

Jackson County State’s Attorney Mike Carr says law enforcement can still investigate and prosecute crimes without the lab nearby. “But we’re just not going to be as efficient,” Carr says.

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Williamson County Sheriff Bennie Vick says he expects investigations to take longer. “These crimes are happening in this area. These crime lab technicians live in this area. They have a vested interest in this area and seeing that crimes are solved in this area. Belleville’s not going to have that,” he said.

The lab is set to close in June of next year. State Police say all current staff members will have a job at the new facility.