Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $487,591)
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services will distribute funds from the FY19 Coverdell grant program to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS) and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). The purposes of the DFS project are to target challenges related to the opioid crisis and improve the quality of forensic science services provided by ensuring that DFS forensic and management staff attend continuing education training and maintain up-to-date knowledge, skills and abilities. The information provided will help to improve DFSs overall efficiency and quality of service. The purposes of the OCMEs project are to minimize the time it takes to get toxicology testing results for suspected drug deaths and ensure that medical examiner staff attend continuing education training/seminars and maintain current knowledge, abilities, and skills. This will help to improve the OCMEs overall ability by increasing the number of qualified trained forensic pathologists. This also improves the competent performance of forensic autopsies and evidence collection.