Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $296,966)
The West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory (WVSPFL) is the only full-service, ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredited laboratory in West Virginia. The Laboratory is responsible for analyzing evidentiary material associated with criminal investigations for all law enforcement (as many as 800 jurisdictions), including federal agencies. Services are provided free of charge. The Laboratory serves a population base of approximately 1.8 million people. The WVSPFL is composed of seven specialized, accredited sections: Trace Evidence, Drug Identification, Toxicology, Biochemistry (DNA), Firearm/Toolmark, Latent Prints, and Evidence Processing. In addition, the Laboratory has a Central Evidence Receiving section for receipt and storage of items of evidence and Toxicology-Breath Alcohol and Digital Evidence, two units working toward accreditation. The Laboratory’s full-time staff of 64 includes forensic scientists, forensic technicians, evidence custodians, administrative assistants, an Assistant Director/ Quality Assurance Manager, and a Laboratory Director. The Laboratory receives approximately 7,000 case requests each year. In accordance with the Laboratory’s Mission Statement to provide accurate and impartial forensic services to all criminal just agencies operating in West Virginia, this project is designed to provide continuing education and certification to scientists within the Forensic Laboratory and provide necessary equipment to scientists and technicians to perform forensic testing. The goal is to generate accurate, impartial, and timely scientific examinations and opinions for the criminal justice system of the State in the interest of public safety. This is accomplished by providing scientists educational opportunities that include new technologies, equipment, and efficiency measures and purchasing and utilizing equipment and tools that will improve quality and efficiency in our laboratory.