WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory will receive $345,649 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Justice’s DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program. The funding will be used to help continue efforts to increase casework capacity and efficiency at the laboratory.
“The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is a critical part of Maine’s justice system, providing invaluable analysis for criminal investigations across the state,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This funding will support the lab in its important mission and bolster efforts to build on DNA casework capacity and efficiency.”
The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is responsible for analyzing evidence associated with criminal investigations for all state and local law enforcement agencies in Maine. State law requires the laboratory to be responsible for conducting DNA analysis on DNA database samples collected from all convicted felons, and some misdemeanor offenders, in Maine. The laboratory is also responsible for storing and maintaining those DNA profiles in the Maine DNA Data Bank.
The laboratory is expected to use the funds to support the continuation of a part-time, grant-funded DNA analyst position to process, record, and screen items for biological evidence for DNA testing. The funding is also expected to support the purchase of two replacement genetic analyzers that will be more efficient than the current machines.
The DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program is administered through the National Institute of Justice, part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. The CEBR program aims to assist states and local governments as they work to process, record, screen, and analyze forensic DNA or DNA database samples. The program also helps to increase the capacity of public forensic DNA and DNA database laboratories.