Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $63,705)
The West Virginia State Police (WVSP) Forensic Laboratory is an ASCLD/LAB accredited; full service facility which is responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for all state and local law enforcement agencies. Services are provided, free of charge, to any police agency (including federal) within the 55 counties of West Virginia. The Laboratory serves a population base of approximately 1.8 million people.
The Laboratory is composed of eight specialized sections: Trace Evidence, Drug Identification, Toxicology, Biochemistry (DNA), Firearm/Toolmark, Latent Prints, Questioned Documents, and Evidence Processing. In addition, the Laboratory has a Central Evidence Receiving section for receipt and storage of items of evidence. The Laboratorys full time staff includes thirty three (37) analysts, five (5) technicians, two (2) secretaries, one (1) Assistant Director/ Quality Assurance Manager, and a Laboratory Director. The Laboratory routinely receives approximately 6,500 cases and performs more than 70,000 tests on evidentiary material each year. The cases received include everything from capital crimes (homicides, sexual assaults) to misdemeanor property crimes. In accordance with the States goal to generally improve and advance forensic services, this project requests funding to provide continued education to forensic analysts through specialized training to further improve the quality of our services.
The WVSP Laboratory is facing budgetary constraints to fund continued education. The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
Goal 1: Provide continued education recommended by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), the Laboratorys accrediting body.
Goal 2: Provide continued education to forensic examiners to maintain their certification.