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Police Worry CSI Layoffs Will Let Criminals Go Unpunished

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — You’ve probably seen the show on TV and you know how important crime scene investigations are to solving crimes. But if the budget passes tomorrow and your home is burglarized, don’t expect a tech to come dusting for prints.

It looks interesting on TV, but the real-life CSI Sacramento is close to being canceled.

“Oh I love my job,” said CSI technician Tanya Atkinson.

Tanya’s job will vanish at the end of the month and she and 13 other CSI techs will be sent packing due to budget cuts, leaving only five techs in the department.

“I have car payments and health benefits I never thought I’d have to worry about,” said Tanya.

And while Tanya worries about her future, she also worries about the city’s future crime rate without resources like her.

“They’re not going to investigate burglaries or misdemeanors anymore,” said Tanya.

“Right now we’re able to investigate a multitude of crime scenes and we’re no longer going to be able to provide those same services,” said Ofc. Laura Peck.

If layoffs happen, the department says CSI will most likely only be dispatched to anything but major crimes. And at the same time, training is underway for some officers to take over CSI duties.

“We’ll be having to utilize what limited resources we have to perform the functions that will still be available and those are bare bones police functions,” said Tanya. “We all have thousands of hours of experience.”

But Tanya says street cops trying to do it all can’t compare to her 13 years of experience.

“There’s no way that can be taught in eight days to sufficiency, in my opinion,” said Tanya.

As she looks for a job, Tanya will not only worry for herself, but also her former department.

“It’s almost setting them up for failure,” said Tanya.

The other concern is current cases. Often these techs are subpoenaed to court. But if they go to other cities for work, it could be hard to find them, leading to some cases being compromised.

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