Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin has confirmed to News 19 that the Columbia Police Department and Richland County Sheriff's Department will merge their crime labs.

"That is our hope. Though its still relatively early, the discussion is meaningful and the Chief & Sheriff have a meeting of the minds. I am committed to assisting them in making a Metro Crime Lab a reality," Benjamin said. "It's smart, efficient and in the interests of a much safer Midlands."

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook closed the city's lab more than a week ago because an audit found inconsistencies in a technician's work and raised concerns about her training and methodology.

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Friday the Mayor requested the committee to meet and discuss the current lab situation.

The county lab is one of two internationally accredited labs in the state.

Prosecutors are currently reviewing if any evidence handled by the city lab will compromise criminal cases.

The committee will meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

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