SLED seeking $500K to expand child fatality unit

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The State Law Enforcement Division is asking lawmakers for about $500,000 to hire more officers to investigate the suspicious deaths of children. The State newspaper reports ( ) that SLED wants to add four officers to its child fatality unit in an effort to reduce a backlog of 466 cases. The oldest is from 1999. By law, the unit must investigate when a child dies under suspicious circumstances. Coroners refer nearly 200 cases a year to the unit that currently has eight officers. Laura Hudson is a member of the state Child Fatality Advisory Committee. She says about 15 percent of cases are classified as homicides. SLED Chief Mark Keel says a case can sit for months before an officer can investigate, which lessens the chance it will be solved. ___ Information from: The State,

Categories: Local News, News