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Gov. Perry awards over $750,000 in Forensic Science Improvement Grants

Awards will fund equipment for the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office and the Houston Police Department Crime Lab

From the Office of Gov. Rick Perry

April 25, 2007

Government - Gov. Perry picture AUSTIN–Gov. Rick Perry awarded $756,520 to six forensic crime labs throughout the state. These grants are awarded under the federal Coverdell National Forensic Sciences Improvement Act fund and are distributed by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD). The Coverdell program improves forensic science and medical examiner services by providing new equipment, training and additional staff to laboratories.

“Through these grants, necessary equipment and increased training will enhance the quality of these forensic science services as well as improve essential timeliness and credibility,” Perry said.

Each year, CJD awards more than $113 million in grants for a variety of juvenile justice, criminal justice and victim services programs.

The awards include:

  • $150,000 to the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office to purchase equipment to determine trace element concentrations and isotropic ratios in elements, which will improve the quality, timeliness and credibility of forensic science and medical examiner services.
  • $93,000 to the City of Austin to purchase equipment for the police department’s crime laboratory including a specialized printer for DNA results, ultraviolet cameras to better evaluate and display evidence, stereoscopes to be used in forensic research and analysis equipment for testing blood-alcohol content.
  • $150,000 to the City of Houston to purchase new equipment for the police department's crime laboratory including digital audio/video equipment to better process media-based evidence efficiently.
  • $75,000 to Dallas County to purchase equipment to improve the analytical capacity for current toxicology tests that will lead to an increase in the number of tests offered.
  • $250,620 to the Texas Department of Public Safety to purchase two ballistic comparison microscopes for the analysis of ballistic evidence. The project will also provide overtime pay to forensic scientists to assist in the reduction of pending drug and firearm cases.
  • $37,900 to Jefferson County to purchase equipment for the crime laboratory that will ensure quality blood alcohol analysis, a laptop computer with software for diagramming crime scenes, and other equipment to better assist in the retrieval of physical evidence.

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