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BJA FY 21 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program (formula)

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $296,966)

INCREASING IDAHO LABORATORY CAPACITY, QUALITY, AND TIMELINESS COVERDELL PROJECT ABSTRACT Idaho State Police Forensic Services (ISPFS) provides forensic services for 1.6 million people in the state of Idaho. There has been a 12% increase in controlled substance (CS) cases finished in Idaho in the last two years and significant increases every year previous. ISP also has a staffing issue in the firearms discipline with only two firearms analysts, one of which retires soon. ISPFS recently achieved ISO 17025:2017 accreditation status for the breath alcohol instrument calibration program. As a result, the frequency of calibrations required for each instrument has increased, dramatically increasing the workload of the discipline scientists. In addition, all calibrations must be done in the forensic services laboratory, increasing the travel time to pick up instruments and drop them off after calibration has been completed. A technician is needed to keep up with the workload in the discipline. ISPFS will use all the Coverdell funds to continue employment of two contract employees (one in Chemistry/Controlled Substance Analysis and one in Firearms/Toolmarks) for the period of one year. ISPFS will also hire a Breath Alcohol Technician to manage the increase in breath alcohol instrument calibrations state-wide. The outcome is to get casework done and maintain current turnaround times as casework continues to increase in these disciplines.

Date Created: December 9, 2021