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FY 15 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $150,900)

The Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department Crime Laboratory is located in the heart of downtown in the City of Saint Louis and is tasked with investigating and solving all the criminal cases that occur in the City’s 61.91 square miles. It is part of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department, which is a unit of the local government that is responsible for the safety of the 318,563 citizens of the City of Saint Louis. The Crime Laboratory consists of several forensic science disciplines including biological screening, DNA analysis, drug chemistry analysis, firearms examination, latent print examination, and crime scene investigation (ETU).

ETU is the laboratory’s first responder to crime scenes and on average respond to 580 scenes of violent crime each year. Since 2009, Saint Louis has made it as one of the top 5 most dangerous cities in the United States repeatedly, with a violent crime rate per capita ranging from 1594 to 2070. Since 2009, there have been 75 officer involved shootings, resulting in 28 deaths and 51 injuries. The most pressing problem at hand is the length of time it currently takes to fully document a major crime scene. Another problem is that of the ability to clearly convey the conditions of a crime scene to the jury.

The goal of this project is to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science services to the citizens of the City of Saint Louis.

The objective of this project is to ultimately purchase one Leica ScanStation P20 in order to meet the goal of improving the quality and timeliness of forensic science services to the citizens of Saint Louis. The laboratory plans to purchase one Leica ScanStation P20 upon being awarded this grant. Through purchasing this 3D laser scanner, Leica Geosystems will provide on-site training to ETU Officers who will be the primary users. The laboratory anticipates being able to purchase and acquire the 3D laser scanner, train the needed ETU Officers, and launch the usage of the Leica ScanStation P20 by the end of 2015 so that the system can be fully operational and utilized at scenes of violent crime by January 2016. The ultimate outcome from acquiring the Leica ScanStation P20 is an overall improvement in the quality and timeliness of crime scene investigation, of crime scene documentation, and of crime scene presentation in the courtroom.

Date Created: September 22, 2015