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Archive for Monday, August 8, 2011

State attorney general discusses KBI concerns with Rotarians

August 8, 2011

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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt was the Rotary Club guest speaker Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Lawrence.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt was the Rotary Club guest speaker Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Lawrence.

Kansas Attorney General in Lawrence

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt talks about his concerns about some of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's resources and staffing levels. Schmidt spoke to the Lawrence Noon Rotary Club on Aug. 8, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Lawrence, 200 McDonald Drive. Enlarge video

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt voiced concern Monday during a visit to Lawrence about some of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s resources and staffing levels.

“The KBI has terrific skill in terms of firearms and ballistic analysis, but the capacity is not nearly where it needs to be,” said Schmidt, who spoke to the Lawrence Noon Rotary Club on Monday at Holiday Inn Lawrence, 200 McDonald Drive.

Schmidt, a former Republican state Senate majority leader who took office in January, said he was still trying to verify a KBI report that said: Once a local law enforcement agency submits a firearm for testing, the process can take up to 48 months unless there are extraordinary circumstances about the case.

In the last couple of years, state leaders worked to reduce the KBI’s DNA sample testing backlog. To do that, former Attorney General Steve Six’s administration used funds from a federal grant and scored money from the Legislature. Six, a Democrat and Lawrence attorney, lost to Schmidt in last November’s general election.

“The point is, it is a lengthy backlog. It is problematic. Just like last year the focus was on DNA in the backlog, now it’s firearms in a backlog,” said Schmidt, who oversees the KBI. “It is a broad structural issue that’s caused by a disconnect between funding and capacity, and we need to make that connection again.”

Schmidt, who has appointed Topeka police Capt. Kirk Thompson as the bureau’s new director, pending Senate confirmation, said the KBI’s staffing levels and testing capacity seem to be a product of the recession and the effect of several small budget decisions made over time.

“I think we need to do a better of telling that story and just pointing out that these policy choices have consequences, and we want to be sure that policymakers are fully informed when they make their decisions,” said Schmidt, who is originally from Independence.

Comments

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

The headline makes it sound like the Rotarians are a bunch of troublemakers.

easyliving 3 years, 3 months ago

"To do that, former Attorney General Steve Six’s administration used funds from a federal grant and scored money from the Legislature. "

Steve Six "scored" some money from the Legislature- along with a bag of weed and a 9mm.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 3 months ago

If you are the Attorney General and you are being criticized for using taxpayer funds to hire your political supporters and campaign chairs, not to mention being more concerned with right wing partisan issues than with doing your job as AG, what do you do?

Why, start making wild claims about an understaffed KBI of course. At least, that is what Phill Kline did.

And surprise surprise, AG Gomer Pyle is once again following in Phill's footsteps.

weeslicket 3 years, 3 months ago

schmidt: “It is a broad structural issue that’s caused by a disconnect between funding and capacity, ..."

really? a disconnect? thanks for figuring that out.

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