TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, today announced $3,908,850 in Department of Justice grants to fund crime laboratories, decrease DNA backlogs, support basic and applied forensic research, and help law enforcement identify missing persons. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of $192 million in funding to advance forensic science nationwide.
“I’m pleased to announce that close to $4 million dollars will be distributed throughout the state by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to increase laboratory capacity for processing DNA evidence, and to hire and train forensic experts,” said U.S. Attorney Keefe. “We rely heavily on the investigative and technical skills of our law enforcement partners to ensure we can successfully prosecute criminals in Northern Florida, and these grant dollars will help us to do just that. More importantly, these funds will enable victims to get answers and see justice done more quickly.”
Since 2004, the Office of Justice Programs has received an annual appropriation for DNA and other forensic science activities. The funding, administered through OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and National Institute of Justice, supports DNA analysis, laboratory capacity enhancement and forensic science research that provides knowledge and tools to improve the quality and practice of forensic science.
“Developments in forensic science have given investigators an extraordinary array of tools that can be enlisted to solve crimes and bring answers to victims and survivors, often after many years and even decades,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These investments in crime-fighting technology, from DNA analysis to drug toxicology to forensic anthropology, will help identify and convict perpetrators, ensure justice for innocent victims and keep communities safe by deterring future criminal activity.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement received the following funding:
- DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Production Program – $2,750,432
- Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants – $1,158,418
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.