Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $233,620)
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is proposing to utilize Coverdell competitive funds to support the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) to expand its Toxicology Section to provide service statewide.
BFS began accepting Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) specimens from a limited number of State Police barracks in April 2017. During the first year of offering toxicology testing, the number of barracks able to use BFS's free service has expanded from 3 to 8. Plans to grow the toxicology program are underway as more staff and laboratory space become available. Funding is needed to purchase equipment and supplies to increase capacity and to facilitate the goal of providing service statewide.
FY 2018 Coverdell funds will support toxicology services being offered at no charge to law enforcement agencies and increase public safety on roadways across the Commonwealth. As the use of opioids increases, more law enforcement agencies will need to submit specimens for analysis to keep impaired drivers from endangering others. It is anticipated that the number of additional cases analyzed could amount to nearly 8,000. Solving cases sooner and allowing for swifter prosecution improves the overall safety and security of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.