Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $271,960)
The Vermont Forensic Laboratory (VFL) serves the entire state of Vermont and is the only forensic laboratory in the state. The efficient processing of cases, analysis of evidence, and continuous compliance with accreditation standards can be improved through grant funds applied to:
Funding the evidence technician position
Funding overtime for Controlled Substances backlog reduction.
Funding the purchase of new computers and analytical balances.
Funding to maintain accreditation and support of the laboratory information management system (LIMS).
Funding continuing education of laboratory staff.
The VFL will use the Coverdell funding to support the salary and benefits of the Evidence Technician position; a dedicated person who receives all incoming evidentiary items allowing analysts to work at the bench. The funding will add capacity to improve the quality and timeliness of controlled substance services. In recent years, opioid-related submissions and case complexity has increased.
Grant funding for overtime in the controlled substances section and obtaining new analytical balances to allow each analyst a dedicated unit at their work station will aid backlog reduction. Funds will be used to replace aging computers, maintain the laboratorys accreditation, provide ongoing support of the LIMS and lastly, allow for continuing education of laboratory staff.
Use of these Coverdell funds has been identified as critical in maintaining accreditation status, reducing backlogs, providing opportunities for continuing education and maintaining dedicated evidence personnel; all integral components of the laboratorys functions and necessary to meet customers needs. nca/ncf
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