Quincy Police Chief addresses car theft investigation, budget co - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy Police Chief addresses car theft investigation, budget confusion

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A car parked with its doors open. A car parked with its doors open.
Quincy Police Department badge being worn by an officer. Quincy Police Department badge being worn by an officer.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

After multiple recent car thefts, Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley says his investigators are looking into possible surveillance video near the scene of one of the thefts. He's also addressing concerns that victims raised about budgeting and staffing issues. 

Copley says QPD is thoroughly investigating the car thefts. He says the hold up on cases like these have to do with budget and staffing issues at the state level.

Copley explained funding for the state crime lab has dropped over the past several years, prompting a backlog of DNA that needs to be tested. After collecting evidence from one of the stolen vehicles, his officer discussed with the victim concerns about the crime lab backlog.

"He was talking to the victim about what happens with that evidence and the comment was made about the state lab," Copley said. "Because of state budget cuts and their staffing levels, didn't know when or if it would ever be processed."

This is because a priority list was developed. Violent crimes with suspects go through the state lab first and non violent crimes with no suspects, like in these car thefts, are last to go through the lab. 

The car theft victims expressed some concern over the budget cuts in WGEM's original story on Tuesday. Copley says he wishes his department would have taken the opportunity to comment when our reporter called before airing the story.

"It didn't happen and it shouldn't have," Copley explained. "I agree that had we been able to do that, the complexion of the story may have been completely different."

Copley hopes residents understand police and the local media have a great working relationship, even partnering on initiatives like CrimeStoppers. Copley expects that strong relationship to continue moving forward.

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