Governor Bredesen Announces Forensic Sciences Grant
NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced a federal forensic science grant that will be used to aid TBI in forensic criminal investigations and help pay for medical examiner training in Tennessee. The $228,549 grant is part of the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Safe communities are vital to maintaining a high quality of life in Tennessee, and this grant will go a long way to improve the scientific quality of forensic investigations as well as medical examiner services across the state,” Bredesen said. “By utilizing new technologies and specialized training, these funds will help us investigate crimes in Tennessee with the latest tools and information available.”
TBI will use part of the grant to purchase an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) instrument. This instrument will provide accurate analysis of gunshot primer residue and other evidence recovered during criminal investigations for all law enforcement agencies in Tennessee. The State Medical Examiner's Office will use their part of the grant to send non-forensic trained medical examiners and lay death investigators in Tennessee to the Medicolegal Death Investigators Training Course offered at the St. Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program awards grants to state and local governments to improve forensic science and medical examiner services. Applications for the competitive funding are reviewed by an independent panel of experts from the forensic science community. The panelists review and rate the applications individually based on how well each meets the specific evaluation criteria.