Four South Carolina counties, a university, and two statewide law enforcement agencies were awarded more than $2 million in grants for forensic science funding, United States Attorney for South Carolina Peter McCoy announced Thursday.
The announcement comes as a recent report showed South Carolina’s murder rate in 2019 was the highest its been since 1996 (see more from our founding editor Will Folks on South Carolina crime numbers here).
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), Clemson University, Richland County, York County, Beaufort County and Greenville County were given grants by the Department of Justice.
SLED was awarded the most at $528,483. Richland and York Counties were each given SC Richland County Government $250,000. Beaufort County Council was awarded $35,000. SCDPS was given $277,700, while Clemson was given $457,536.
The grants will “fund crime laboratories, decrease DNA backlogs, support basic and applied forensic research, and help law enforcement identify missing persons,” the news release said.
““These grants allow those partners to further their great work in forensic science, which in turn protects communities across the state,” McCoy said.
According to the latest SLED report released this week, Richland County (the second largest county in the state by population), had the most murders in 2019 at 53 with 59 percent of those solved.
Greenville County, the largest county in the state, had 34 murders in 2019, but solved 91 percent of them.
York County had nine murders in 2019, solving 55 percent of them, while Beaufort had 10 murders and solved seven of them.
The release did not say exactly why those four counties were chosen. Click here to see more info on the DOJ grants.
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