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Nevada Forensic Science Improving Quality through Education

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $66,679)

The State of Nevada has two forensic laboratories accredited through the American society of Crime Laboratory directors Laboratory Accreditation Board. One of the two is the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Forensic Laboratory (LVMPD-FL) serves the southernmost part of the state which accounts for approximately 67% of Nevada's population. Coverdell grant funds will be dedicated to the assist the LVMPD-FL improve the quality of forensic science and improve the timeliness of forensics processed. The LVMPD-FL provide forensic science services to law enforcement agencies throughout Southern Nevada. Within the laboratory, the Firearms/Toolmarks Detail examines firearms and toolmark evidence, the Latent Print Detail examines fingerprints, palm prints, and foot prints, and the Trace Evidence Unit identifies ignitable liquids at arson scenes, identifies general unknowns and compares specific tpes of trace materials that can be transferred during a crime. Examples of these types of materials include textile fibers, fabric, carpet, rope, tape, tear gas and pepper spray.The expertise needed to formulate conclusions in these disciplines is founded in training, job experience, and continuing education. funds are being requested to send scientists to forensic training seminars and to bring researchers into the LVMPD Forensic Laboratory to provide in-house training. Documentation, in the form of notes and photographs, is a key component of forensic examinations. This documentation is not only critical for reviews and court testimony, but is required by accreditation standards to preserve evidence and analytical results. Fund are being requested to purchase cameras for the microscopes in the Firearms/Toolmarks Detail and the Trace Evidence Unit. Cameras for the Latent Print Detail processing room and drawing tablets to be used by the scientists in the Latent Print Detail are also being requested.To link crime scenes and firearms, and to identify suspects, the Firearms Unit utilizes the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). Funds re being requested for the scientist to work overtime to reduce the number of backlogged cases saiting for NIBIN entry.


Date Created: September 16, 2015