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Los Angeles Police Department - Forensic Sciences Division: Improving Forensic Testing Associated with Gun Violence Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $250,000)

Improving Forensic Testing Associated with Gun Violence Project


 The Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Forensic Science Division (FSD) operates a full-service laboratory, accredited in the disciplines of Drug Chemistry, Toxicology, Biology, Trace Evidence, Firearms/Toolmarks, Questioned Documents, and Crime Scene.  Between 2017-2019, the FSD’s Firearm Analysis Unit (FAU) experienced a small increase (1%) in firearms received for National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) entry, a significant 30% increase in evidence uploaded into NIBIN, and a slight increase (2%) in field response hours.  However, in 2020, firearms received for NIBIN jumped 12% and evidence uploaded into NIBIN increased a staggering 59% from 2019 levels. The increase in workload brought about by the increase in the number in violent crimes highlights the problems in FAU – consistent backlog occurrence, a limited number of staff shouldering the majority of the comparison casework, and the limited number of microscopes which are shared between staff performing casework and training.  


Under the 2021 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, the LAPD is seeking $250,000 to implement the LAPD FSD Improving Forensic Testing Associated with Gun Violence Project. The FAU intends to achieve three primary objectives: (1) sustain the number of requests for comparison-based analyses on casework and NIBIN tasks while increasing the amount of microscope time for trainees; (2) increase the number of staff trained to perform technical analyses; and (3) increase the number of instruments available to examiners and trainees. This project aims to avoid a firearms analysis backlog and improve the quality and timeliness of services by providing overtime and enhancing the equipment available to FSD personnel for firearms analysis.

Date Created: December 7, 2021