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FY18 Nebraska State Patrol Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program- Formula

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $271,960)

The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) is the acting State Administering Agency for the State of Nebraska. The Nebraska State Patrol Crime Laboratory (NSPCL) is a division within the NSP. The NSPCL is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB.) This application requests funding to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science services.

Forensic crime analysis demands in Nebraska continue to rise. Over the past two years, the number of cases submitted to the NSPCL has risen over 26% from 4,240 to 5,362 cases. A large increase in sexual assault cases is expected in 2018. This project will enable the NSPCL to continue conducting forensic analysis utilizing qualified personnel, with reliable and modern technology. While a 21 day decrease did occur between 2015 and 2017, an additional decrease in the number of days for a case to be completed is not anticipated. Regardless of the turnaround, with this project, the NSPCL will be able to satisfy unmet priority needs which will improve the quality and timeliness of forensic laboratory services to law enforcement agencies in Nebraska in an efficient and effective manner.

The significant case increases along with the anticipated increase in submission of sexual assault kits from 2018-2020 has created a situation in which the current staff cannot manage the volume of evidence in a timely manner. The hiring of an additional evidence technician and associated workstation and peripheries will ensure evidence will be managed in a timely and proficient manner.

The NSPCL Trace services have been minimal due to outdated/ nonexistent necessary equipment and minimally trained staff. Staff re-assignments have allowed for a renewed focus on expanding the services of this section. Coverdell funds will also assist in the purchase of necessary equipment to realize this goal.

In the past, analysts provided assistance with annual internal audits; however excessive caseloads prevent them from assisting with non-technical tasks. Contract funds will provide for annual internal audits creating an efficiency in case work.

Professional trainers will be brought on-site to provide training relevant to the ISO 17025:2017 accreditation standard revision. In addition, court testimony training will also be provided to assist with educating new analysts in best practices on how to present their findings in courts of law. Essential discipline specific training will also be funded for several staff of the NSPCL.


Date Created: September 21, 2018