Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the Maine Department of Public Safety (MDPS) will receive a total of $459,150 through the Department of Justice to improve forensic science services and create a system for the automation of manual criminal records.
“Accurate and timely forensic science and access to criminal records are crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of our criminal justice system,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This funding will enhance MDPS’ efforts to keep our state safe by enhancing its database, maintaining the reliability of forensic results, and improving training for staff.”
The National Institute of Justice’s Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program will award $71,530 to MDPS to improve the forensic science services provided by the Maine State Police Crime Lab, the forensic analysis of controlled substances by the Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory, and the medical legal death investigation services by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The funds will also be used for specialized training in the forensic disciplines of crime scene investigations and controlled substances.
The National Criminal Improvement Program will award $387,620 to MDPS to automate the state’s backlog of manual criminal records to enhance the quality and accessibility of criminal history information. This project will be completed in collaboration with the Maine State Police and the State Bureau of Identification.