Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $176,150)
The problem faced by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Office (STPSO) Crime Lab is the lack of an efficient and modern method of tracking information throughout the forensic examination process.
The current method for processing incoming requests for examination; tracking inventory and evidence; and the writing and issuance of reports, is a conglomeration of carbon copy forms, excel spreadsheets, word documents, and faxing/emailing or manually issuing final results. This inefficiency is especially significant in the Drug Analysis Section which has the greatest number of case submissions and is also challenged with additional examination setbacks due to the rise in synthetic opioid submissions over the past several years.
The scope of this project is to modernize these processes through the purchase of a comprehensive laboratory information management system that will handle all of these tasks; thereby improving the quality and timeliness of forensic laboratory services. The Crime lab is requesting funding for the purchase of a laboratory information management system. Funding will be used for the installation, customization, implementation and comprehensive training in the system.
Funding will also be used for integration of current laboratory instrumentation with the system and ancillary equipment required for optimal use of the system (computers, document scanners, barcode printers and barcode scanners). The objective will be to standardize the process of tracking all cases and evidence within the laboratory and optimize workflow by increasing efficiency of receipt, processing, and reporting of evidence examinations. The expected outcome of this project will be a decrease in the backlog of cases pending examination and a decrease in overall turnaround time from issuance of evidence for examination to release of reports.
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