Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $253,953)
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, St. Louis County will use the grant award to hire two civilian evidence technicians to assist with reducing the number of hours that forensic scientists, firearm examiners, and photo technicians are removed from their primary duties of evidence analysis. These activities will also assist with staffing the crime laboratory's front counter where evidence is delivered by various personnel, agencies, and jurisdictions. The new staff will handle the acceptance, cataloging, and inventory of evidence, and assist with implementing the agency's bar-coding system by scanning and entering all existing evidence into inventory. A secondary program goal of this project is to purchase a Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) for the Chemistry Section of the Police Crime Laboratory to assist with reducing the time forensic scientists spend waiting to gain access to a GC-MS and thus further expediting investigations and reducing backlogs.