Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $296,966)
Abstract Funding is requested to support the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation, Criminalistics Laboratory, the Department of Public Health, State Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Waterloo Police Department. Criminalistics Laboratory: The 2021 Base Award will be utilized by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Criminalistics Laboratory to provide overtime for criminalists and evidence technicians to clear cases and reduce case turnaround time. The Crime Lab will utilize grant funding to purchase equipment to be used to detect and test for opioids and other drugs. Department of Public Health, Office of State Medical Examiner: The 2021 Base Award will be utilized by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Office of State Medical Examiner to provide training to state and local death investigators/pathologists. The funding will also be utilized to purchase hours from the case management system vendor to provide enhancements to the system to enhance case entry efficiency and reporting capabilities. And finally, the grant will support equipment/materials used to automate and document autopsies to improve efficiencies and reduce turnaround times. Waterloo Police Department Grant funding will support the Waterloo Police Department’s Forensics Unit in becoming accredited. Specifically, grant funding will support training required for personnel assigned to the lab to become certified and the unit to become accredited. Project Goals Improve laboratory capability to analyze new opioid compounds and differentiate fentanyl analogs: Decrease backlogs and turnaround times to meet court requirements and provide timely investigative information: Meet national standards for death scene investigations: Maintain knowledge and education of state medical examiner forensic pathologists, death investigators, and other staff on the latest research and advancements: Improve data/case reporting capabilities: Coverdell Performance Measures Project staff currently collect and report the required Coverdell Performance Measures. Both the Iowa Criminalistics Laboratory and the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office have case management systems in place which in the normal course of business report the Coverdell performance measures. Each office has assigned a specific individual to report the measures on a quarterly basis to the Office of Drug Control Policy.