Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $345,912)
The ongoing opioid epidemic continues to fuel crime in Maryland and results in a growing number of overdose fatalities. In 2017, the number of drug- and alcohol-related overdose deaths occurring in Maryland reached an all-time high. The Governors Office of Crime Control and Prevention is requesting funds through the Coverdell program, and the funds will be distributed to six Forensic Crime laboratories and the Chief Medical Examiners Office. Funds will be allocated to support backlog reduction, the purchase of equipment, and staff training. It is anticipated that with Coverdell support, the State of Maryland will be able: to reduce backlogs related to latent print examination, drug analysis, and firearms testing; provide advanced drug chemistry training to laboratory staff; and purchase equipment needed to improve the quality and efficiency of forensic services statewide.