Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $296,966)
The New Hampshire Department of Justice (NHDOJ) is the State Administrating Agency (SAA) authorized to administer U.S. Department of Justice Grant programs. The NHDOJ is submitting the FY 2021 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program- Formula application on behalf of the State of New Hampshire. Funding to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) will be used to support staffing for OCME. This grant will support costs related to an evidence technician, who is responsible for the inventory, control, and chain of custody for all specimens and physical evidence of OCME autopsy and external exam cases. The OCME is understaffed, having only two pathologists, so an evidence technician is crucial in keeping the backlog cases down and allowing pathologist to focus on the required autopsies According to the New Hampshire OCME 2020 Monthly Drug Data, 414 people died in 2020 from drug overdoses in New Hampshire. Therefore, the outcome of providing this funding to OCME would be to increase the efficiency and allow the needed autopsies to be completed in a more timely and efficient manner. This application also seeks to fund needed training for staff from the New Hampshire State Forensic Laboratory at the International Association for Identification (IAI) conference, the Borkenstein Drug Course, and the Digital Magent Axiom Training. This funding would also support the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) certification maintenance costs for this laboratory to keep their accreditation.