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Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $51,580)

South Dakota intends to utilize the award to help with the foundation of improving the lab services. The South Dakota Forensic Laboratory (SDFL) provides services to all law enforcement in South Dakota, including local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement.

The latent fingerprint section of the laboratory utilizes the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) daily in order to accomplish their work. Aside from entering unknown latent prints into the database system, our two latent print examiners have recently undertaken the task of performing the comparisons of reverse searches for the State of SD where unidentified latent prints are searched against new arrests.

Our AFIS system is significantly outdated, at the end of its life expectancy, and in danger of failure. Upgrading the current AFIS system will improve accuracy for fingerprint identifications; therefore, the DCI is requesting funds from the 2018 Coverdell Grant to offset the major expense of upgrading this system.

The SD DCI is requesting Coverdell grant funding to offset the costs of the initial system upgrade, including servers, data conversion, software, and hardware. In addition to the AFIS upgrade, Coverdell Grant funding would also be used to provide continuing education to lab staff in their respective disciplines. The continuing education credits are eligible for and would be used towards certifications and recertification for examiners.


Date Created: September 21, 2018