Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $174,882)
The Colorado Springs Metro Crime Laboratory (MCL) provides forensic science services to law enforcement agencies in El Paso County (Colorado), primarily serving the Colorado Springs Police Department, the El Paso County Sheritrs Office, and the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
To increase the capacity of the MCL, funding is requested to purchase equipment and supplies to enhance several forensic disciplines. The MCL expects to analyze forensic evidence from arson cases in the near future, adding a new forensic service to the MCL. Also, with the increased forensic caseload related to the analysis of synthetic drugs, a faster gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) with triple quadrupole technology will cut processing time down significantly and replace a GC-MS which has exceeded its useful life and is not longer supported by the manufacturer. To create more accurate crime scene diagrams with data gathered by the MCL's point cloud scanner, crime scene diagram software will be purchased. This will enable the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) to create crime scene diagrams more efficiently, provide better visual aids -- to include animation --for court room testimony, and assist the prosecution by providing detailed trajectory calculations.
To expedite crime scene processing in poor lighting conditions, the MCL will purchase stand-alone, battery-operated crime scene lighting systems that can be deployed regardless of the terrain or availability of electricity. To reduce the existing backlog in the forensic discipline of latent print comparison by an estimated 50%, the MCL plans to add a part-time latent print examiner. The proposed grant request would provide the Colorado Springs MCL with much needed equipment, personnel, and software to ensure that the MCL will continue to be operational and at the same time create efficiencies within the MCL. This request will address two goals of the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant:
-- Improving the quality and timeliness of forensic science services, and
-- Elimination of backlog