Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $293,954)
The Oregon State Police (OSP), Forensic Services Division (FSD) provides scientific, technical and investigative support to the criminal justice system through the collection and forensic analysis of evidence. The Division, accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to the ISO:IEC 17025:2017, provides the state’s only full service forensic laboratory system. The Division provides services to all criminal justice agencies from its five forensic laboratories located in Portland, Springfield, Central Point, Bend, and Pendleton. There are 138 authorized positions in the division.
In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, approving how the State handles the use of some illegal drugs. This measure reduces penalties for drug possession, making Oregon the first state to decriminalize the personal possession of illegal drugs. Measure 110 went into effect in February 2021 and has dramatically reduced both felony and misdemeanor possession of controlled substances submitted to the OSP Crime Lab for analysis. With the reduction of drug chemistry, the FSD has seen a steady increase of submissions in Toxicology samples. The two main factors for this increase is the increase of drug use while operating a vehicle, as well as the reallocation of law enforcement agency resources from possession cases to impaired driving cases. There has been a steady increase of pending toxicology requests since February 2021.
The FSD is proposing to use grant funds for overtime to help reduce the backlog and help maintain 80% of cases be completed under 30 days. The FSD is also proposing to use approximately $150,000 of the anticipated awarded grant funds for National Medical Services (NMS) to analyze post-mortem samples. The anticipated reduction of post-mortem cases will allow resources to be directed to anti-mortem case samples.