Oct. 2, 2009
Byrd Announces MU Funds
Special to Huntingtonnews.net
Washington, DC (HNN) --- Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-WV , announced Thursday, October 1, that the Department of Justice is providing Marshall University $5.825 million to continue work for two key crime-fighting/solving research and technology programs. Byrd, who is the senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, had the money included in the Fiscal Year 2009 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Marshall University’s Forensic Science Center (MUFSC) will receive $5 million to expand the Center’s role as a model working forensic laboratory in support of the forensic community in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice.
As a result of Byrd’s support for this program, MUFSC has developed the capacity to quickly respond to the needs of the forensic community and new challenges in a timely and focused manner. With changes in national and state priorities, as well as new technologies and requirements of the courts, this funding is critical for the Center to adapt and upgrade its research to meet these needs. In addition, the Center will continue to provide assistance to forensic crime laboratories by utilizing its DNA lab in technology transfer, research and development, testing and evaluation, and model training.
“Marshall’s Forensic Science Center plays a leading role in national forensic research, training, and service efforts. These initiatives are helping to protect citizens, put criminals behind bars, and train the forensic scientists of tomorrow,” Byrd said.
Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, president of Marshall University, thanked Senator Byrd on behalf of the University, saying, “We thank Senator Byrd for his steadfast support of Marshall University's Forensic Science Program. This program is a national leader in cutting-edge forensic science research and applied technology. These funds will help further the vital and pioneering work underway in the Marshall Forensic Science program, work that will directly benefit our nation, federal and state law enforcement agencies, our communities and our students.”
"The MU Forensic Science Center has earned recognition as a national resource for the forensic science community in the areas of training, research and solving crimes as a result of Senator Byrd's continued support. We are addressing new challenges through our nationally accredited DNA laboratory and our digital forensics unit, said Dr. Terry Fenger, Director of the MU Forensic Science Center. “MUFSC has also served the forensic science community by educating the next generation of laboratory analysts and investigators. Its Master's degree program in forensic science, which originated in 1995, was recently ranked #1 in the nation on a multi-disciplinary student examination pointing to the program's level of excellence.”
The additional $825,000 that Byrd secured will be used for the continued development of and upgrades to the Computer Forensics Science Initiative at MU. The project will assist state and local law enforcement by providing a working model laboratory as a guide for state and local agencies working with digital evidence; increasing the number of law enforcement personnel with the necessary education and training in digital forensics; and performing testing and evaluation on new and emerging digital forensic techniques and technologies.
“This initiative trains specialized personnel in computer crime investigations at all levels, including terrorist attacks on computer networks; internet fraud; identity theft; child exploitation; drug transactions; and corporate espionage; which enables law enforcement to be more effective in crime-fighting,” Byrd added.

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