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AR Crime Lab Seeing Improvements in Handling Massive Backlog

Leaders say backlogged cases continue to decrease.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Arkansas State Crime lab starts 2014 much like it did in 2013 -- with a backlog. But Executive Director Kermit Channell says the agency is working to address the issue.

"It's a way of looking at the processes and eliminating waste in what you are doing," he said.

Channell says the agency uses a project board to track cases under review. It is the product of a managerial concept put in place about a year and half ago, called "Lean 6 Sigma".

He tells KARK the new policy is working.

Last year, there were roughly 5,000 cases statewide backlogged. But this year, that number dropped to about 4,300.

Channell says he is happy about the decrease, but there is still room for improvement.

"If I have to walk across he hallway to get something I need to do my testing, you want to change that up where everything is in the same motion and flow. So even though that seems like a small thing, that's a lot of wasted motion," he said.

He says the ultimate goal is to help victim's families.

"It's the whole process of going from good to great," Channell said.

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