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Improving the Quality and Timeliness of Forensic Science in Massachusetts

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $406,853)

The Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL) is a state government laboratory dedicated to providing excellence in service through quality forensic science.

The Boston Police Department Forensic Division (BPD) and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) together with the MSPCL propose the following initiatives to reduce forensic case backlogs, to decrease turnaround time and to provide quality and timelier forensic services.

The MSPCL intends to utilize these grant funds to purchase critical equipment, to fund overtime, and for travel and training costs to allow individuals to attend national conferences. This would allow the Crime Laboratory to reduce the backlog of untested cases, including those related to the opioid abuse crisis and to receive critical continuing education opportunities to improve the quality of forensic services provided.

The BPD plans to fund travel/training costs that would allow for seventeen individuals from their Forensic Group to attend national forensic conferences. These trainings allow the Forensic Group to receive critical continuing education opportunities related to the disciplines in which they work.

The OCME would like to fund overtime for medical examiners in order to reduce the backlog of pending death certificates and autopsy reports. The funding will allow the OCME to address this caseload.

The anticipated outcome of these collective initiatives is to decrease case backlog and turnaround time of forensic examinations and increase the quality and timeliness of forensic science at the respective laboratories and medical examiner’s office while increasing capacity at each agency.


Date Created: September 21, 2018