Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $326,040)
Colorados primary objective for the FY19 Coverdell award funds is to assist laboratories in their efforts to improve current operations in the quality and/or timeliness of forensic science services provided throughout the state. As Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has increased the number of scientists on staff, costs for maintaining the necessary high level of quality have also increased. CBIs caseload and backlog have increased as well. These needs are reflected in this application. The Denver Police Department (DPD) Crime Laboratory will heighten the quality and timeliness of Denver's forensic services through: 1) sending scientists/examiners to continuing education trainings and industry conferences to maintain their professional certifications and the facilities' accreditations; 2) hiring an Administrative Support Assistant II in the Crime Laboratory to alleviate some of the administrative burdens currently being completed by scientists; and 3) purchasing cameras for the OME to use at death scenes and throughout autopsies. Funding requested under this grant will provide the Colorado Springs Metro Crime Laboratory (MCL) with much needed forensic supplies and equipment to increase its efficiency by reducing cumbersome procedures, thus reducing turnaround time. The Northern Colorado Regional Forensic Laboratory (NCRFL) is seeking training to help members obtain or maintain current certifications within their chosen disciplines. The training received will also keep them current in the latest technologies including those needed to address the opioid concerns within the forensic science community. The El Paso County Coroner's Office will use funding to improve the quality and timelessness of forensic services by purchasing an instrument for the forensic toxicology section and additional training for drug recognition, medicolegal death investigation and crime scene investigation. Combined, this will allow the El Paso County Coroner's Office to better recognize drugs of abuse, analyze forensic samples (including opiates), and decrease turnaround time.