U.S. flag

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

Development of the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office Forensic Section

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $45,336)

In July of 2013, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) established an in-house forensic science section with the capability to provide fast and efficient high-demand forensic services to local law enforcement. Over seventy thousand dollars of agency funds have been allocated to begin purchasing equipment and training for the forensic section. Since the inception of the program, the forensic section has completed over one-hundred and sixty-eight (168) forensic work requests. The requests include work in high-demand forensic disciplines such as mobile forensics, crime scenes, latent prints, and video analysis. The Montana State Crime Laboratory either does not provide analysis in the majority of these disciplines or is substantially backlogged. Support from the Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program in 2015 provided critical training and equipment to found a dedicated crime scene response team and improve the technological capabilities of the department. Additional support will provide the funding necessary for the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office to continue developing the forensic section. The following objectives detail areas of crucial development which are outside the budget capabilities of a small agency such as the LCSO:
1) Continue training the crime scene response team to ensure properly trained forensic personnel are available to handle crime scene processing.
2) Continue equipping the crime scene response team and forensic section with the necessary tools required to provide quality service to the residents of Lewis and Clark County.
Continuing to develop the in-house forensic section will reduce the number of submissions from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office and neighboring agencies to the Montana State Crime Laboratory. Reducing the number of submissions to the crime lab will result in a reduced state backlog and an increase in the quality and efficiency of local investigations due to the immediate availability of critical forensic information. In addition, a reduction in the number of submissions to the state laboratory from Lewis and Clark County, one of Montana’s larger population areas, will allow the state crime laboratory to reduce the turn-around time on requests for analysis from other areas of the state thereby benefitting all of the law enforcement agencies in Montana.


Date Created: September 18, 2016