Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $90,724)
The PRFIS is an ASCLD-LAB-, FBI-, ACGME-, FQS-, and NAME-accredited, full-service forensic facility that has served the citizens of Puerto Rico since 1985. It currently counts with four operational divisions: a) Criminalistics, b) Medico-legal and Toxicology Investigations, c) Forensic Investigations (CSI), and d) Drug Screening and Special Substances Detection (DSSSD). FY2016 Paul Coverdell funding will be used to achieve three main goals 1). To improve the timeliness of forensic reports in the Toxicology and Firearms and Toolmarks Sections; 2). To reduce the number of backlogged cases in the Firearms and Toolmarks Section; 3). To improve the quality of forensic reports in the Criminalistics and Toxicology and Medico Legal Divisions by assisting to continuing education trainings. Through the proposed effort, a step towards achieving the needed capacity enhancement of analyzing high priority cases, funding will be requested for the hiring of two (2) highly motivated, trained and committed entry-level forensic technicians. This personnel is trained both in theory and practice by a highly qualified examiner with federal court experience. Furthermore, funds will be requested for the hiring of one (1) Firearms Examiner who will responsible of the examination and microscopic comparison of bullets, ammunition components and firearms. These hiring is in an effort geared towards drastically reducing the costly amount of overtime hours. It is of the essence to identify and efficient mechanism with which to cost effectively enhance analysis and forensic reports per year. Funds granted will foster further professional growth by providing continuing education to staff that are directly involved in providing forensic science or medical services to the community. Excel, File Maker Pro and StarLims (MS SQL) will be used to obtain performance metrics data of interest to the NIJ.