Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $686,497)
The North Carolina State Crime Laboratory system (NCSCL) consists of three regional facilities: Raleigh, Triad Regional and Western Regional Laboratories. These laboratories perform various types of forensic analysis for the entire state of North Carolina.
To better serve customers, all Drug Chemistry, Toxicology and Latent Evidence sections are requesting funding from the 2023 Coverdell Formula grant to increase the expertise of their respective drug chemists and toxicologists through scientific meetings and to improve instrumentation and efficiency as it relates to forensic analysis for the three listed disciplines.
To continue to provide quality chemical analysis efficiently and effectively, additional and/or replacement instrumentation is required. The Raleigh Drug Chemistry Section is seeking funds to purchase an additional gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) which will provide greater productivity of analysis and three fourier-transform infrared spectroscopies (FTIRs) to replace existing instrumentation that is over fifteen years old. In addition, the Triad Drug Chemistry Section is requesting to purchase two top loading balances which will replace older models in the section.
The crime laboratory is requesting funding for three training opportunities. The first request is to send fourteen toxicologists to the 2023 Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) meeting. This training is necessary to keep up with shifting trends and new analytical techniques. The second request is to send two toxicologists to the Borkenstein Drug Course. During this meeting, there will be multiple presentations that cover a wide variety of drug classes. The last request is to send ten drug chemists to the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) meeting. Attending this conference allows forensic scientists to stay abreast of current topics affecting the analysis of seized drugs.
The Latent Evidence Discipline would like to purchase three Full Spectrum Imaging System IIs (FSIS-2) from ArrowHead Forensics. The FSIS-2 allows the visualization and photographing of multiple types of evidence including untreated latent fingerprints, fumed fingerprints, dye-stain fingerprints and rounded and shiny surfaces. The FSIS-2 will also digitally capture a high-resolution image and display it in real time. Finally, the FSIS-2 allows for visualizing evidence with a wavelength range of 254nm-1100nm as compared to the disciplines current range of 365nm and 600nm.
It is expected that the purchase of this new instrumentation will increase laboratory efficiency and subsequently increase casework production which should lower turnaround times and the number of backlogged cases. These effects will be monitored through the laboratory’s information monitoring system, Forensic Advantage (FA).