DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory will no longer test DNA samples in downtown Dayton. Dayton police said they are having to make several changes, including new restrictions set in place by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI).

Dayton police said they’re focused primarily on 170 samples that were at the crime lab that needed to be processed, but were immediately stopped due to this closure. Now, old samples and new ones may cause short term back up at BCI.

“It’s more of a hassle to drive there but we don’t really have another option, but BCI has been great with us,” said Dayton Police Major Brian Johns.

Major Johns said while BCI is free to use, they will have to budget gas and staff available to drive the samples twice a week to London, outside of Columbus. Plus, he expects other changes to take effect.

“Touch DNA, Miami Valley would do that for any case we wanted to but only certain cases that BCI will do Touch DNA for and the number of samples that can be submitted, we have a limit of samples that we can submit now,” said Maj. Johns.

The Montgomery County coroner said the decision to end DNA testing at the crime lab came down to being unable to hire a qualified technical leader for two years. The job is a requirement for the lab to meet accreditation standards. The lab operates on a fee for service model, unlike state labs that receive federal funding. So, it depends on a variable income.

“Sometimes people looking for positions would see that kind of business model and want to take a pure government position with more stability,” said Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger. “It’s still a government job but we rely on income from law enforcement.”

Dr. Harshbarger is hopeful the closure is just temporary, but hopes are not high.

“We’d have to hire, then about a year to be qualified, while we want to return to DNA testing, it may be years before that happens,” said Dr. Harshbarger.

The coroner’s office said the crime lab isn’t the first one to discontinue its DNA program. Several years ago, the Canton-Stark County Lab shut down DNA testing and tests were also transferred to BCI.