By Matthew Artz and Rebecca Parr
As if Oakland police didn't have enough on their plate, the Alameda County Grand Jury found that the department's crime lab is chronically underfunded and has so many backlogged cases that it should be consolidated with Alameda County's crime lab.
Oakland's crime lab, built more than 60 years ago, is too small to provide adequate lab space and evidence storage, the grand jury found in its annual report. The lab also uses a "rudimentary spreadsheet system" that limits its ability to track unsolved cases.
According to the grand jury, chronic staffing shortages have caused "in excess of 10,000 cases with searchable prints (to go) unsearched." At the end of last year there was a backlog of 1,118 fingerprint requests.
Source: Contra Costa Times