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The National Forensic Academy: Continuation and Expansion

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $2,446,519)

The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), furthers the Department's mission by assisting state and local jurisdictions in improving the criminal justice system and assisting communities in preventing drug abuse and crime. In fiscal year 2007, the Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program will focus on funding local, regional, and national efforts within six major categories: 1) targeting violent crime; 2) preventing crime and drug abuse; 3) enhancing local law enforcement; 4) enhancing local courts; 5) enhancing local corrections and offender reentry; and 6) facilitating justice information sharing.

In 2005, the FBI reported a 2.3% increase in homicides and other violent crimes across the U.S. Preliminary data shows an additional increase of 1.3% from 2005 to 2006. After many years of decline, this precipitous change has caused significant alarm. Of additional concern is the low solvability rate for homicides in the U.S. which has been attributed to, in part, a lack of reliable crime scene investigation training for law enforcement and investigators. In order to respond to this precipitous increase in violent crime, particularly homicides, the University of Tennessee, Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) will expand its current training and technical assistance to law enforcement and other public safety agencies, specifically its crime scene investigation training offered through LEIC's National Forensics Academy (NFA). They will enhance their forensic and technology training programs and continue to establish a network of subject matter experts and experienced facilitators. This intensive 10-week in-residence training for law enforcement investigators will focus on evidence collection, preservation, and submission using innovative and technologically robust techniques. The core curriculum will be enhanced through subject matter expert review and practitioner benchmarking. In addition, courses will be delivered through a national distribution and delivery system.


Date Created: August 1, 2007