Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $235,351)
The North Carolina State Crime Laboratory consists of the main facility in Raleigh and two regional laboratories, one in Greensboro and one in Asheville. This Crime Laboratory system serves a state that covers 53,819 square miles, with a population of approximately 9.94 million. The State Crime Laboratory has identified areas where the quality and/or timeliness of forensic services could be improved. In the Toxicology Unit, which analyzes blood and urine samples for the presence of alcohol and/or impairing substances, analysis time has been slowed because of the inadequacy of specialized equipment. Mass spectral processing has been identified as the biggest bottleneck in the analysis scheme. To address this problem, the Laboratory would use Coverdell funding to purchase a new Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) system with software that allows for efficient processing of complex mixtures such as toxicology samples. In the Latent Evidence Section, the cameras currently being used to photograph fingerprints, footwear and tire tracks are approximately ten years old. Digital photography technology advances quickly and there have been extensive developments over the last ten years. The Section would benefit greatly from the advancements with the image sensor which allows for increased detail. The Laboratory would use Coverdell funds to purchase eight new camera systems, six for the Raleigh Laboratory and one for each of the regional laboratories.