Ivey awards grants to back Forensic Sciences Department

FROM STAFF REPORTS   

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey is backing the fight against opioids and other illegal or abused drugs statewide through $386,207 in grants to the state Department of Forensic Sciences.

Ivey awarded grants of $260,207 and $126,000 to enable Forensic Sciences to purchase two state-of-the-art substance analyzers capable of rapidly analyzing and identifying prescription and illegal drugs, including opioids. The analyzers are also expected to help reduce a backlog of drug cases.

“Evidence provided by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences is often the difference between whether a suspect is convicted or set free,” Ivey said. “These new tools will greatly enhance the ability of technicians to accurately examine drug evidence and provide that information to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.”

The analyzers can identify solid and liquid substances to determine the presence and type of drug. Average screening time for each sample is expected to take about two minutes, according to the department. The Department of Forensic Sciences performs evidence collection and identification for more than 450 law enforcement agencies in Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Gov. Ivey recognizes the tireless work that the Department of Forensic Sciences performs daily to assist our law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial services in doing their jobs effectively and efficiently,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in this partnership to provide this new equipment.”

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.