Thursday, Governor Bill Lee, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and Speaker Cameron Sexton announced what they called a “decisive” step to accelerate the hiring process for 25 additional forensic lab positions at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).Taking this action ahead of the regular budget process will expedite the TBI’s efforts to expand testing capacity and reduce the turnaround time for sexual assault kits (SAKs).
New forensic lab positions, including scientists, technicians and administrative support, will be added in each Grand Division in Tennessee:
· Jackson Lab – 8
· Nashville Lab – 11
· Knoxville Lab – 6
Recurring funding for these additional forensic lab positions will be included in the state’s upcoming Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget. In the interim, the TBI will utilize existing funds in the FY 2022-2023 budget.
Since 2019, the Lee administration and Tennessee General Assembly have made historic investments to support the TBI, totaling $42 million and funding 150 new positions. FY 2022-23 marked the single largest TBI investment in the Bureau’s history and included funding for 25 new forensic lab positions.