Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $93,796)
The City of Cape Coral, with a population of approximately 169,854 residents is the second largest city in Florida by land mass, 120 square miles with over 400 miles of canals. The Cape Coral Police Department is seeking funding in the amount of $93,796, through the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program to provide resources to assist with obtaining, forensic accreditation by December 2018, through the acquisition of fees directly associated with the accreditation process, needed training and equipment. The overall goal of the program is to obtain accreditation specifically for the Departments forensic science services to ensure compliance to industry standards and applicable international standards, as well as, improve criminal justice practices and advance forensic science.
It is the Departments mission to ensure the safety and well-being of our community through a partnership with our citizens. Funding this initiative will provide the Department an opportunity to become the only law enforcement agency forensic department (municipal or county) in Southwest Florida, to obtain forensic accreditation. In doing so, the Department will be able to mentor neighboring law enforcement agencies with the forensic accreditation process.
The Department works in collaboration with Federal, State and local agencies, that include but are not limited to: U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Marshals, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and local law enforcement agencies, in an effort to provide forensic support and services for joint cases, as well as, for agencies that do not have the equipment and/or personnel with the expertise in the various forensic fields. These essential partnerships maximize our respective resources for the betterment of the criminal justice community. Becoming forensically accredited will allow the Department to continue to provide support specifically to federal agencies.
The Department is dedicated to being a local leader in forensics. Through acquiring the necessary equipment, coupled with obtaining the essential training to comply with the accreditation guidelines, the Department will obtain forensic accreditation in turn will ensure that reliable and scientifically valid evidence is used when solving crimes. The Department will utilize its existing resources and build upon them, in order to be cost effective and fiscally responsible.