U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Enhancing the Turnaround Time of Forensic Toxicology Cases

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $168,599)

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, Monroe County will use the grant award to increase the capacity and quality of the services provided by the Monroe County Forensic Toxicology Laboratory. The agency will hire two Forensic Toxicologists to increase staffing and decrease turnaround times. Improvement in the turnaround times for forensic cases will allow the District Attorneys of Monroe and its surrounding counties to submit investigations to grand juries in a more timely manner and will provide important information to law enforcement agencies needed to direct their investigations. Rapid reporting of toxicology findings will have additional benefits to include the prevention of the morbidity and mortality caused by repeat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) offenders, the prevention of additional victims of a serial rapist, and product tampering. The additional staff will allow the laboratory to expand the scope of DUID testing to meet the standards proposed in the state and improve the prosecution of drugged driving cases by identifying more of the drugs or chemicals being abused by drivers. By the end of the grant period, the lab proposes to decrease turnaround times for all major categories of testing to 30 days.


Date Created: September 15, 2009