Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $271,960)
The Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories request federal funds to improve the quality of services provided to the Commonwealth of Kentucky through training and continuing education. These two entities provide all of the forensic services to the entire Commonwealth as there are no other public or even private forensic labs in the state. This responsibility is taken seriously by all involved.
The Kentucky State Police propose to utilize grant funds for costs associated with attending forensic conferences and training events to realize better testing quality and the implementation of best practices for improving turnaround times in case completion. With over 120 analytical staff members, representatives of the various forensic disciplines and laboratory leadership attend training and meetings and bring back lessons learned to share with peers. Past years of applying Paul Coverdell grant funds to training and conference attendance has resulted in knowledge transfer for new methods, protocols, and policies. Of additional importance has been the ability of laboratory staff to maintain certification in their respective fields.
KSP seeks funds to purchase equipment designed to alleviate the number of extractions performed by the toxicology section, in effect reducing the backlog through the increase in efficiency. Toxicology has seen a continuous rise in the number of suspected impairment cases paralleling the rise in opioid abuse seen in Kentucky and surrounding states. The extraction robots in which we are interested can perform extractions after an analyst prepares the samples. This frees up the analyst to other tasks during the 1-2 hour extraction process significantly decreasing the turnaround time and backlog.
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner:
The Office of the State Medical Examiner proposes to provide valuable avenues for the Commonwealths forensic pathologists to stay abreast in their expertise in Forensic Pathology by requesting funds for four (4) staff members to attend the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) meeting and four (4) staff members to attend the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) meeting in 2019. By attending the many classes during these two National meetings, the pathologists may continue to testify as expert witnesses in the courts of Kentucky as well as receive continuing medical education credits needed for medical licensure. Additionally, the Office of the Medical Examiner is requesting equipment and supplies to perform critical functions including a heat sealer, freezer, x-ray table, x-ray viewing workstations and monitors, and Protein Saver Cards.