Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $272,275)
Current instrumentation in the drug identification section of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Laboratory lacks the sensitivity to differentiate many fentanyl analogs from one another, which is problematic due to the proliferation in the illegal use of opioid drug compounds containing fentanyl and/or fentanyl analogs. Case backlogs and turnaround times have increased and the lack of real time data related to opioid and other drug overdose and overdose deaths limit the health and safety community's response to drug problems in the community. The goals of this project are: 1) to equip the crime lab with instrumentation to identify and measure trace amounts of highly potent opioid/analogs; and 2) decrease casework backlogs and average turnaround times on processed evidence; and 3) bolster a data driven response to opioid use in the community by improving the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of death investigations. The funds will be used for overtime for analysts to work cases, training for medical examiners and medical investigators, and enhancements to the case management system.