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Schumer Delivers $1.5 Million For University At Albany And Ny State Police Forensic Training Institute

Funds allocated from 2003 Appropriations Bill now headed to University at Albany and New York State Police

Schumer visited University at Albany when they submitted their proposal with the NY State Police, saw first-hand the institute's facility and importance

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the University at Albany and the New York State Police's Northeast Regional Forensic Institute (NERFI) will get $1,490,250 from the Appropriations bill that passed in February of 2003. Although the bill was passed, the money allocated by the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs department was just sent due to administrative delays.

"By enhancing law enforcement's ability to fight crime, this partnership between the New York State Police and the University at Albany will help improve the quality of life across the Northeast," Schumer said. "Forensic science is the new frontier of law enforcement and Albany has the chance to be the field's pioneer. The biggest impediment the forensic field faces is that they don't' have enough forensic scientists to process the case backlog. This program will address that, and help put violent criminals behind bars."

"Once again, we are indebted to Senator Schumer and New York State's Congressional Delegation for their vision and leadership in helping to secure the funding to maintain this important program," said Admiral John R. Ryan, interim president of the University at Albany. "The Institute is fulfilling its mission of providing expert postgraduate education to dozens of State Police DNA forensic scientists, while offering exciting academic, research and career opportunities for UAlbany students. In doing so, the program is ensuring a new wave of highly trained forensic scientists for the future. It is also advancing many research opportunities for faculty in all branches of the life sciences."

The NERFI program seeks to bring together the criminal justice community as well as academe to provide highly trained forensic scientists and the latest forensic methods to the community. The University at Albany and the New York State Police initially proposed using the federal funds they applied for in 2002 to create the NERFI program, but because of the delay the University and State Police sought out state funds and began work on the institute.

The Department of Justice recently approved their updated plan to use the federal funds to establish "Mirror Training Labs". The labs created on main and east campuses will be tied in with the police training labs located adjacent to the University. The NERFI program will train undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students as well as work with New York State police employees looking to gain more forensic training.