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Colorado BJA FY 23 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program - Formula

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $374,718)

Colorado’s objectives for 2023 Coverdell funds are: To assist forensic science laboratories to improve current operations in the quality and/or timeliness of forensic services provided statewide; and to reduce the backlog of forensic cases, due in part to the opioid and synthetic drug crisis. 2023 funds will support four accredited forensic science laboratories: Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Laboratory, Denver Police Crime Laboratory and Denver’s Office of the Medical Examiner (OME), Colorado Springs Metro Crime Laboratory (MCL), and the Northern Colorado Regional Forensic Lab.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is committed to providing high quality services and support to law enforcement statewide. CBI will use Coverdell funds for accreditation fees, external proficiency tests, training to non-DNA scientists, and overtime resulting in a backlog reduction due in part to the opioid epidemic. CBI will improve quality and timeliness, and reduce backlogged cases in forensic laboratories, exacerbated by the opioid crisis.

To improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services, the Denver Police Crime Laboratory and Denver’s Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) will receive 2023 Coverdell funds. The Crime Laboratory will pursue training opportunities that support maintenance of laboratory personnel certification and for latent print examiners. Both the OME and the Crime Laboratory will purchase cameras to improve timeliness and quality of photos.

The Colorado Springs Metro Crime Laboratory (MCL) provides forensic services to the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and the El Paso County Coroner’s Office. The MCL will purchase two adjustable-height worktables/benches that will improve operational efficiency and provide continuing education through multiple conferences and trainings for employees to ensure continued certifications, minimum education requirements, and to maintain accreditation. It is essential that MCL employees are educated in the latest methods and techniques in their field, which will contribute to a backlog reduction. 

The Northern Colorado Regional Forensic Lab is a consortium of five (5) law enforcement agencies and CBI staff that coordinate to provide forensic services to Northern Colorado. The lab will train scientists in their area of expertise to improve the quality of forensic services in Northern Colorado. The request includes unlimited digital media training for an analyst who will process digital items associated with distribution of opioids, training for two DME analysts to attend the IACIS basic computer forensic course, one firearms examiner to attend the AFTE symposium, and one discipline manager to attend the ASCLD leadership course. This will enable analysts to provide cutting edge techniques to their examinations and lower the backlog, while one manager will learn management practices to improve overall quality.

Date Created: September 25, 2023