Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $63,705)
South Dakota intends to utilize the award to help with the foundation of improving the lab services. The SDFL provides services to all law enforcement in South Dakota including local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement. The caseload for examiners has increased over the past several years, including increases of nearly 50% in Biology/Serology, and consistent increases in firearms and fingerprint sections. Funding increase requests for additional staff have not been successful, and the SDFL must be more efficient through better time management and improvements in equipment to increase efficiency. Coverdell funding would be used to make needed upgrades to the evidence and firearms sections in facilities and technology, as well as purchase needed equipment upgrades that will be utilized to improve efficiency, reduce turnaround time, and improve accuracy of results. The SDFL is requesting Coverdell 2015 Base Grant funding to help fund an upgrade to the firearms and evidence sections. This upgrade will increase the work space in both sections, allowing for multiple cases or exams to be processed simultaneously. Technology upgrades in these sections will also serve to increase the efficiency of the workflow, and improve the quality and timeliness of the work done in these sections. Coverdell Grant funding would also be used to provide continuing education to lab staff in their respective disciplines. Anticipated outcomes would be that the equipment purchased, in conjunction with the training received would allow for more efficient use of examiner time, allowing for higher productivity. The training would assist the SDFL in maintaining and improving the quality of work in the forensic lab.