Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $1,356,524)
The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) will help communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provide for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. This competitive grant announcement focuses on initiatives in eight areas: 1) preventing and reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven approaches; 2) providing funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers; 3) reducing mortgage fraud and crime related to vacant properties; 4) hiring of civilian support personnel in law enforcement (training staff, analysts, dispatchers, etc.); 5) enhancing forensic and crime scene investigations; 6) improving resources and services for victims of crime; 7) supporting problem-solving courts; and 8) national training and technical assistance partnerships. Under category 5, the Louisiana State Police (LSP) will use the grant award to create 12 new staff positions to assist with the goals of: (1) improving the ability to provide timely forensic analysis to law enforcement agencies; (2) significantly reducing sample backlog waiting for DNA and forensics analysis; and (3) increasing the ability of Louisiana law enforcement agencies to properly manage crime scenes and collect, preserve, and process evidence for forensic analysis. The LSP will use multiple approaches to accomplish these project goals. One key component is hiring forensic technicians for routine duties that do not require a trained scientist. LSP will also hire additional crime laboratory analysts (forensic scientists), provide overtime to increase the total number of cases completed, and provide specialized crime scene training for law enforcement officers to improve the collection of forensic evidence. Key deliverables under this award will be to: initiate the hiring processes for forensic technicians and crime laboratory analysts within 30 days of the grant award; (2) complete the training of forensic technicians within 12 weeks of hiring; (3) complete the basic training of crime analysts within 14 months of hiring; (4) develop the training curriculum and teach one crime scene management class every quarter, for a total of 8 classes during the 2-year grant period; (5) reduce the backlog DNA cases by 33 percent within the grant period; (6) reduce the backlog criminalistics cases by 33 percent within the grant period; (7) reduce the average length of time between submission and completion of DNA cases by 25 percent by the end of the grant period, and (8) reduce the average length of time between submission and completion of criminalistics cases by 25 percent by the end of the grant period.