MURFREESBORO – U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon announced today that Middle Tennessee State University has been awarded $550,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice to improve its forensic curriculum.
“At a time when many sheriff’s and police departments can’t afford to offer specialized training to officers, this grant will provide quality training to Tennessee law enforcement and educate more students to become forensic scientists and technicians,” said Congressman Gordon.
Gordon worked with MTSU officials to request and obtain the grant for the University’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education. The funding, which was officially allocated by the U.S. Justice Department this month, will be used to develop six forensic science courses at MTSU, provide twelve in-service training workshops for Tennessee sheriff’s and police departments, in addition to funding the development of a number of online training workshops.
“The Justice Department grant will serve to broaden the impact of forensic science on both the MTSU campus and within Tennessee’s forensic community,” explained Dr. Hugh Berryman, Director of MTSU’s Forensic Institute. “We will develop undergraduate and graduate programs in forensic science and provide traditional in-service training for Tennessee law enforcement, while exploring distance learning as a more economic and logistically advantageous alternative.”
MTSU established the Forensic Institute for Research and Education in the summer of 2006. The Institute brings together faculty and students in several scientific specialties to provide educational and training opportunities for law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, social workers, and other groups in forensic science and Homeland Security.
“I remain committed,” added Gordon, “to helping MTSU’s Forensic Institute and Middle Tennessee law enforcement agencies get the funding needed to continue protecting our neighborhoods and improve crime detection and response efforts.”