Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $595,727)
The Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, (I-MCFSA) is a local government agency, which provides Indianapolis, Marion County, State, and the Federal criminal justice system with forensic laboratory services. We provide prompt, accurate and quality forensic analysis on requests submitted by Public Safety agencies in the Criminal Justice System. The I-MCFSA performs scientific examinations of physical evidence pertaining to crimes occurring in the City of Indianapolis and County of Marion. The laboratory also supports federal investigations in other Indiana Counties as part of joint investigation task forces originating in Marion County.
This laboratory is the first full service forensic laboratory in Indiana accredited in the ASCLD/LABInternational program, and the 35th laboratory accredited in the ASCLD/LAB-International program, worldwide. The accreditation consisted of a very comprehensive assessment in which every aspect of the laboratorys operation, to include the Crime Scene Unit, and was carefully reviewed to include its management practices, evidence handling procedures, and laboratory security procedures.
The continued effort to eliminate an increase in violent crime includes the I-MCFSA as an integral element within the various criminal justice and public safety agencies of Marion County and the City of Indianapolis. The reduction in violent crime continues to be an issue that several Marion County and City of Indianapolis government entities have attempted to address over the past several years, with 2015 being no different. The I-MCFSA is a vital participant in the Criminal Justice System. The laboratory continues to pursue the goal of reducing the amount of time between submissions for requests of analysis to the point of case completion to a maximum of six weeks in all forensic disciplines.
The I-MCFSA met requirements, from local government, to reduce approximately 5% of the operating budget, each year, for the previous seven years. The lab is currently operating on a budget that was in place in 2007. All overtime funds, the majority of costs associated with training, along with a significant reduction in supplies, equipment, and other services were cut from the budget. The budgetary challenges we face directly impact the timely analysis of forensic evidence.
The goal of this proposal is to continue to provide and improve the quality and efficiency of forensic science services by providing laboratory personnel/overtime, supplies, accreditation/audit fees, calibration costs, and training and development to assist the Biology Unit in analyzing cases and completing training opportunities, thereby continuing to improve efficiency and assist in backlog reduction in our Biology Unit.