Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $934,977)
Through the improvement of the quality and timeliness of forensic services, the reduction of the number of backlogged cases, and the sustained education and training of forensic personnel, Californias local forensic science laboratories, medical examiners offices and coroners offices will continue to provide a valuable tool to law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies throughout the state.
The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will provide grant funding to each qualifying forensic laboratory to supplement the internal and external continuing education needs of that laboratory's complement of qualifying forensic scientists. There are many challenges facing California's forensic laboratories today, the transferring of inmates from the state system to each county via Assembly Bill 109, budget cuts, and the turnover of qualified personnel to cover core components of forensic analysis, to name a few, and each have negatively impacted local forensic science laboratories, medical examiners' offices and coroners' offices around the state.
As each California crime laboratory, medical examiners' office and coroners' office is unique, Cal OES will utilize grant funding to support an innovative statewide program "the California Coverdell Program" that allows qualified forensic laboratories the flexibility to use a combination of any or all of the aforementioned objectives to fund projects that meet the overall state goal and federal intent of the program.