ChemaTox: A Study in Government Stupidity

Here’s one of those regional stories that won’t get national play but continues to point out how stupid government can actually be.

Colorado has something called the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. CBI was intended to support and assist local, county and state criminal justice agencies through the provision of professional investigative and forensic laboratory services, as well as the management and administration of criminal justice records and data sharing. 

Something like an FBI wannabe with much less budget.

Among their others tasks, CBI’s InstaCheck Unit is responsible for conducting background checks for the transfer of firearms in the state. InstaCheck serves as the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) state point of contact for the process, and is only one of 13 states designated to serve in this capacity. In addition to the NICS checks for firearms purchases, InstaCheck also addresses appeals for firearms purchase denials as well as processing background checks on behalf of Colorado sheriffs for Concealed Handgun Permits. 

Back in 2013, it was found that CBI was totally incompetent in testing blood which would seem to be a rather important task.

The problem was that the CBI was totally overloaded with not nearly enough budget to do the job properly. They then did the right thing which was to outsource the job to three different labs — one of which is a woman-owned business called ChemaTox.

ChemaTox and the other labs did a good job and problem solved. When Colorado wanted better data on marijuana use, the labs purchased the equipment and priced accordingly,

“The testing was expensive, and in particular, some of the smaller rural agencies were having trouble with that,” said CBI Director John Camper.

So what did the CBI do? They played move the budget money around and decided they would now do these tests FOR FREE.

Here’s the funny part — they thought only the smaller police departments would use the FREE service and were caught completely off guard when every department in the state decided they would use the FREE service as well!

What boneheads!

The upshot is that ChemaTox is now out of business.

“Shame on us,” Camper said. “We should’ve reached out and done better stakeholder work in the first place. I feel horrible about it. And again, there was no intention to negatively impact anybody’s business.”

Does the CBI lab have the capacity to take over from ChemaTox? Nope.

Do they have a plan to add capacity? Nope.

Well, Mr. Camper, I hate to destroy anyone’s life but YOU NEED TO RESIGN!

What are other possible consequences? For one, it’s a certainty that it will take longer to get lab results. What do you think the odds are that a number of defendants will get off scot-free since they will have been denied a right to a speedy trial? I’m thinking that’s near 100%

Who will pay for the added capacity that duplicates the capacity that ChemaTox had? The taxpayers of course.

Are you feeling really confident that the CBI should be handling all the data handling for firearms? Not me for sure! They’re like the Chowder and Bonehead Investigation service if you ask me!

Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

Site owner and bilagáana


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