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FY16 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $71,530)

South Dakota intends to utilize the award to help with the foundation of improving the lab services. The SDFL provides services to all law enforcement in South Dakota, including local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement. The caseload for examiners has increased over the past several years, including an increase of 34% in Biology/Serology in 2015, and consistent increases in firearms, and fingerprint sections.
The SDFL successfully received funding for an additional examiner in the Serology/Biology section; however that funding did not include sufficient resources to equip the new examiner for casework. In 2016, a new law was passed requiring all sexual assault kits to be submitted to the SDFL for analysis, and mandates that the SDFL complete that analysis within 90 days. Because of this mandate, and the continual increase in regular workload, the SDFL must be more efficient through better time management and improvements in equipment to increase efficiency. Coverdell funding would be used to make needed upgrades to the evidence, fingerprint and firearms sections in equipment and technology, as well as purchase needed equipment upgrades that will be utilized to improve efficiency, reduce turnaround time, and improve accuracy of results.
The SDFL is requesting Coverdell 2016 Base Grant funding to help fund an upgrade to the equipment and technology in the serology, fingerprint, firearms and evidence sections. Technology upgrades in these sections will serve to increase the efficiency of the workflow, and improve the quality and timeliness of the work done in these sections. Coverdell Grant funding would also be used to provide continuing education to lab staff
in their respective disciplines.
Anticipated outcomes would be that the equipment purchased, in conjunction with the training received would allow for more efficient use of examiner time, allowing for higher productivity. The training would assist the SDFL in maintaining and improving the quality of work in the forensic lab. nca/ncf

Date Created: August 25, 2016