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FY2018 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $271,960)

There has been an 18% increase in controlled substance (CS) cases finished in Idaho in the last two years. A 958% increase in heroin (opioid) cases alone has increased CS backlogs, lengthened turnaround times, forced overtime, and created a high stress work environment.

ISP also has a staffing issue in the firearms discipline with only two firearms analysts. One analyst is retiring soon, and the lab has the need to always maintain two fully-trained examiners.

ISPFS will employ three contract employees for the period of one year. Two of the employees will be trained in chemistry, and one in firearms analysis. The chemist positions will increase chemistry case output capacity by an average of 120-180 cases a month when analysts are fully trained.

Analysts will meet Idaho court needs to work most felony drug cases within 15 days, and most misdemeanor drug cases within 30 days. The laboratory is requesting state funding to continue these chemist positions, and associated output capacity, at the end of the grant period. As part of the lab succession plan, the grant-funded firearms contractor will be trained and ready to immediately fill the state-funded firearms position when it is vacated next year by a retiring examiner. Succession planning ensures adequate in-house training resources and no decrease in case output during the transition.


Date Created: September 21, 2018