The Milwaukee Crime Lab could be moved out of the city, under a budget provision the Legislature’s Joint Finance committee approved Thursday.
State law requires Wisconsin’s crime labs to be located in Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau.
Department of Justice officials say they want to move the Milwaukee lab because it’s become too small and is located in an unsafe neighborhood on the near south side.
They say they want to move the lab to another space in the Milwaukee area, but not in the city. Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason called the arguments ridiculous.
“It’s law enforcement that’s delivering these materials to the crime lab. I’m pretty sure they can handle being in a high crime area. If you don’t want stuff to be in the city of Milwaukee and you want another chance to kick Milwaukee, you should just say that,” Mason says.
Mason says the Milwaukee crime lab has been in its current location for decades and there have never been any incidents.
All 12 Republicans on the panel voted in favor of the measure, while all four Democrats voted against. None of the Republicans spoke on the item. After the committee finishes revising the governor’s proposed budget, the package will go the full Legislature.