August 6, 2018: Arkansas officials plan to open a third Crime Lab in Lowell, Ark., in 2019, and officials hope that the new Lab will reduce the backlog of cases at the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the news about the new Crime Lab at a press conference at the twenty-five-acre site in Lowell on Friday, July 27, 2018. The new Crime Lab will be the state’s third site for analyzing evidence in criminal cases. The Crime Lab opened a satellite office in 2004 on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope. Members of that staff examine evidence in cases of suspected violations of controlled substances. Nearly 40 percent of the state’s drug and toxicology cases originate in Northwest Arkansas, which creates a statewide bottleneck, officials said. Law-enforcement officers must travel to Little Rock to deliver and retrieve evidence, and members of the crime lab staff must travel to Northwest Arkansas to testify in cases. “The new lab in Lowell will increase the speed that agencies in Northwest Arkansas get results in their cases,” Hutchinson said. “It also will allow the Little Rock lab to focus on homicide cases, which means investigators will have answers more quickly.” With the approval of the State Legislature, Hutchinson has allocated money to complete the construction of the 10,000 square-foot lab, which is scheduled to share space with the Arkansas State Police Troop L at its new Headquarters.