Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $75,491)
The Nevada Department of Public Safetys (NDPS) Office of Criminal Justice Assistance (OCJA) as the State Administering Agency (SAA), is requesting $ 70,423 in Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant funds to provide improved quality forensic laboratory services with shorter turnaround times for two forensic laboratories, both of which are accredited through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). OCJA is requesting funding to provide travel to Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada to monitor the two sub-recipients laboratories, minimal office supplies and personnel expenses dedicated to the fiscal and programmatic review and compliance of federal funding.
In northern Nevada, the Washoe County Forensic Science Division (WCSO-FSD) provides crime scene investigation and laboratory testing for 13 of the 17 counties in the State of Nevada. This service covers over 80 percent of the States Federal and local agencies forensic laboratory needs. The WCSO-FSD, Firearms Section, requests the purchase of an Alloy Analyzer for analyzing metal fragments to determine if they are consistent with a fired bullet, or if multiple metal fragments have a consistent elemental make-up. This is a new technology the Firearms Section does not currently have available to them. The Forensic Investigations Section (FIS) requests the purchase of new cameras for evidential photography at crime scenes. The digital cameras in use were purchased in 2008 and are now archived, meaning the camera is no longer in production and parts for repairs will no longer be manufactured. In order to continue to provide crime scene services to over 80 agencies in Nevada, FIS must replace the current equipment with adequate and reliable photography equipment.
In southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments Forensic Laboratory (LVMPD-FL) provides services to all law enforcement agencies located in Clark County as well as client agencies in the neighboring counties of Lincoln, Esmeralda, and Nye. The Firearms/Toolmarks Detail examines firearms and toolmark evidence. The expertise needed to formulate conclusions in this discipline is founded in training, job experience, and continuing education. Funds are being requested to send two scientists to a forensic training seminar directly related to the field of Firearms/Toolmarks I.