Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $271,960)
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 Laboratory, 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 (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 Maines 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.
4. Purchase a Gas chromatograph mass spectrometer for HETL to replace the failing aged unit currently in place. This will help to prevent the backlog from returning.
CY19 Coverdell grant funds will provide training for staff who are directly and substantially involved in providing forensic science services, to offset the cost related to annual proficiency test for analysts and provide for contractual services with forensic pathologists to perform autopsies to facilitate timely completion of cases.