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State of Rhode Island Forensic Science Improvement & Accreditation

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $108,332)

The State Crime Laboratory, located at the University of Rhode Island, has been provided with office and laboratory space in Fogarty Hall, since 1970. Since 1980 the staff has increased from 3.5 to 10 in 2017.

Space for Laboratory expansion has been provided when available; however the existing configuration is restrictive and impedes work flow and efficiency. URI agreed to provide the Laboratory with additional space in Fogarty Hall which is in need of significant renovations including the demolition of benches and casework that have been in place since the building was opened in 1963.

URI will use award funds to purchase laboratory benches casework up to the allotted amount of $25,875. The balance of the cost will come from other Laboratory funding sources, including but not limited to its FY2018 state allocation. The DOH Laboratory will maintain accreditation status through an audit by our accrediting body, ANAB/ANSI, and will undergo an on-site partial scope surveillance audit. The cost will include annual fees.

The DOH Laboratory proposes to pay travel and registration costs to send staff to various trainings and conferences. The Laboratory proposes to monitor the effectiveness of backlog reduction efforts through performance measures, which will include the number of backlogged drug cases awaiting analysis, turnaround times for illicit drugs, and improvement in turnaround times as a direct result of this award.

The OSME will continue to strengthen its infrastructure by purchasing much needed supplies, equipment and database software to sustain and improve operations. These purchases will assist in expediting activities, improve work quality/efficiency and help to organize, store and process information. In addition, Medicolegal Death Investigator training & testing is planned for the newest member of the OSME Scene Investigator team. Attendance at the National Association of Medical Examiners Conference will enable one forensic pathologist to attend numerous information sessions, presentations and workshops relative to best practices and trends in forensic pathology/science. The Rhode Island State Police Forensic Services Unit will again apply for accreditation by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/Forensic Quality Services (FQS).

Forensic Sciences Unit members will attend vital trainings and conferences and undergo necessary certification tests that support accreditation goals. The FSU will purchase needed supplies to carry out their mission and achieve accreditation. The Public Safety Grant Administration Office will retain $11,500 in administrative funds to contribute to the salary and fringe benefits of the Coverdell grant administrator.


Date Created: September 29, 2017