Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $312,708)
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 eight hundred 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, Seized Drugs, Toxicology, Biology, Firearm/Toolmark, Latent Prints and Breath Alcohol. In addition, the Laboratory has a Central Evidence Receiving section for receipt and storage of items of evidence along with two units working toward accreditation: Crime Scene Response, and Digital Forensics. The Laboratory’s full-time staff of sixty-seven includes forensic scientists, forensic technicians, evidence custodians, crime scene specialists, administrative assistants, a Quality Assurance Manager, an Assistant Director, and a Laboratory Director. The Laboratory receives over 10,000 case requests each year (including those units working toward accreditation).
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, archive historic paper casefiles, 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 with educational opportunities that include innovative technologies, equipment, and efficiency measures and purchasing and utilizing equipment and tools that will improve quality and efficiency in our laboratory.