Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $142,492)
Colorados primary objective for these funds is to assist laboratories in their efforts to improve current operations in the quality and/or timeliness of forensic science services provided throughout the state.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation Forensic Services (CBIFS) proposes to use Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement grant funds for the purpose of ensuring and improving the quality of laboratory services with up-to-date non-DNA discipline-specific training of individual scientists throughout the grant year, proficiency tests, overtime, and accreditation fees. The result of this funding will be a reduction in the backlog of casework associated with non-DNA cases and test items and the continued production of high quality work which is a result of relevant training, accreditation, and proficiency testing. To continue providing high quality customer service to the City and County of Denver, the Crime Laboratory will provide advanced training to forensic scientists; renew the ISO 17025:2005 accreditation; and purchase new equipment for the Office of the Medical Examiner which will increase efficiency and promote safer, cleaner lab conditions. Combined, these efforts will help maintain the average turnaround time for delivering test results at the Office of the Medical Examiner and will help increase the number of forensic scientists attending training in the Denver Police Crime Lab.
The Colorado Springs Metro Crime Laboratory (MCL) provides forensic services for the Colorado Springs Police Department, the El Paso County Sheriffs Office, the 4th Judicial District Attorneys Office, and the El Paso County Coroners Office. The MCL is staffed in the forensic disciplines of chemistry, latent fingerprint identification, firearms examination, DNA analysis, and crime scene investigation. Forensic sciences undergo changes as new technologies and methods emerge allowing for better analysis of evidentiary items. It is paramount that the MCL forensic staff is trained to meet current industry standards in each discipline. To maintain and develop forensic capacity, the forensic staff cross-trains in several forensic disciplines.
Training and continuing education is a mandated component in the accreditation and reaccreditation process. Funding requested under this grant will provide MCL staff with necessary training in their respective forensic discipline.
The Northern Colorado Regional Forensic Lab (NCRFL) provides forensic services to the Northern Colorado region, primarily to the participating agencies. The lab in conjunction with the CBI was accredited in May 2015 in chemistry, biology-bodily fluid identification, firearms and latent prints. It will have an assessment in Biology-DNA Nuclear and Digital& Multi-media Evidence (DME) in February of 2016. The lab is seeking to train DME forensic examiners in audio/video analysis as well as provided additional training for a latent print examiner.