Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $296,966)
The Maine Department of Public Safety is submitting this application on behalf of the three State of Maine forensic science laboratories. They are the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL), Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), and the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL). All the labs experience issues with staff training, equipment, and backlogs. The MSPCL intends to use the FY 2021 Coverdell Funds for continued staff training, better equipment to assist with documentation at crime scenes, and equipment for the comparison of forensic latent prints. The OCME plans to use the FY 2021 Coverdell Funds for contracted board-certified forensic pathologists to investigate a higher percentage of deaths in Maine and to purchase equipment for toxicology screen tests. The HETL intends to use the FY 2021 Coverdell Funds for staff training and testing equipment. The expected outcome of these efforts is increased accuracy of testing results, increased focus on opioid testing (74.4% of total funding), and backlog reduction.