Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $108,332)
The Maine Department of Public Safety requests funding under the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science services provided by the Maine State Police (MSP) Crime Lab; the forensic analysis of controlled substances by the Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) and medical legal death investigation services by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's (OCME). The funds will also be used for specialized training in the forensic disciplines of crime scene investigations and controlled substances. The objectives for this project are to: 1. Maintain the accuracy, reliability, and credibility of results obtained through forensic analysis of samples submitted for identification, and the accurate determination of cause and manner of death. 2. Provide quality, timely and comprehensive analysis of forensic drug and alcohol evidence to all Maine's local and state law enforcement agencies. 3. Decrease the number of days between submission of a sample and delivery of test results to the requesting agency. FY 2017 Coverdell grant funds will provide training for staff who are directly and substantially involved in providing forensic science services, offset the cost of the related to annual proficiency tests for analysts and provide for contractual services with forensic pathologists to perform autopsies to facilitate timely completion of cases.