Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $86,394)
The PRFIS is an ASCLD-LAB-, FBI-, ACGME-, FQS-, and NAME-accredited, full-service forensic facility that has served the citizens of Puerto Rico since 1985. It currently counts with four operational divisions: a) Criminalistics, b) Medico-legal and Toxicology Investigations, c) Forensic Investigations (CSI), and d) Drug Screening and Special Substances Detection (DSSSD). FY2015 Paul Coverdell funding will be used employ two Forensic Technician on a full time basis. One will be responsible of providing technical assistance to the Firearms Examiners in the analysis activities of priority cases; acquire shell casing images in IBIS/BrassTrax and perform correlations in IBIS/MatchPoint at the Firearms/Toolmarks Section. As of today, the Medicolegal Division has five Forensic Pathologists to attend the demands for medical examiners services from all the municipalities of Puerto Rico. National standards developed by NAME state that the maximum of number of examinations of pathologists per year should not exceed 325. In order to maintain peak efficiency and effectiveness the Institute is requesting funds to bring one forensic technician to assist in the Pathology Section in order to improve the quality of medical examiners services. This technician will be responsible for preventive maintenance tasks; cadaver, equipment, reagent, supplies and tissue inventories; disposal of tissue and unclaimed belongings; preparation of death certificates; temperature verification, within others. Funds granted will also foster further professional growth by providing continuing education to fourteen (14) employees that are directly involved in providing forensic science or medical services to the community. Project execution will be carried out by one Grants Specialist, who will ensure that all the Programmatic goals identified in this proposal are achieved on a timely fashion. Quarterly Financial Status Reports will be prepared by the designated personnel and submitted on a timely fashion through GMS. The Grants Specialist will work closely with operational and administrative divisions and will be responsible for: 1) submitting semiannual progress reports; 2) identifying difficulties hindering progress; 3) maintaining a binder with all the documentation for any future Grant Progress Assessment; and 4) submitting the Performance Metric Data required by NIJ.