Detroit - Michigan State Police announced plans Thursday for a statewide Forensic Evidence Academy, a facility officials hope will help standardize crime scene investigations among police departments and accelerate evidence testing in the agency's backlogged crime laboratories. The academy's 40-hour course will eventually be offered to law enforcement officers in 600 police agencies across Michigan in 2013, said John M. Collins, executive director of the state police forensic science division. State police crime labs process evidence - from drunken driving cases to murder investigations - used in Michigan state courts. "We are very excited about this program, and we are going to test drive it with our (state police) command sergeants beginning in August," said Collins. "We expect there will be some things that need to be ironed out, but our hope is that this will help in evidence case management and prioritizing evidence being sent to labs for tests." Collins noted that labs - which process about 80,000 cases annually - face a backlog of 9,490 cases, covering such disciplines as biology, controlled substances, firearms, fingerprints, questioned documents and trace evidence.