URI & R.I. Department of Health collaboration
means bad news for bad guys
Two groups working together to enhance forensic science field
KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 21, 2000 -- A new agreement between the University
of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Health is bad news for
the bad guys.
The health department's Division of Laboratories and URI's Forensic Science
Partnership have joined forces to make the fight against crime even more
effective by collaborating on services, teaching and research relating to
The health department brings to the partnership the latest know-how in
the areas of forensic toxicology, DNA analysis, drug and alcohol analysis,
environmental chemistry, food chemistry, clinical microbiology, serology,
and food and water microbiology and air pollution.
URI's Forensic Science Partnership brings to the collaboration the analysis
of fingerprints, firearms, blood spatter, fire debris, hair fibers and textiles,
explosives, propellants, and pyrotechnics. In addition, the University is
in the forefront of developing sensor technology to detect pathogens in
food, assist public safety officials in search and rescue and in evidence
During a brief signing ceremony at URI, health department Director Patricia
Nolan said the agreement will enhance the sharing of knowledge and improve
training and education for students, faculty and health department officials
and staff, and the people of Rhode Island.
"The partnership is linking the scientific and investigative capabilities
of our labs with URI's education, training and research efforts," Nolan
URI President Robert L. Carothers said this newest agreement is another
positive outgrowth of the University's effort to eliminate arbitrary boundaries
that hinder research and learning. "By working together, URI and the
Department of Health can be greater than the sum of their parts. Collaboration
of this kind breeds creativity and challenges old assumptions," Carothers
John Bourcier, associate justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and
a member of the URI Forensic Science Partnership Advisory Board, said the
partnership represents a great opportunity for young people interested in
studying forensic science. "There is a great need for scientists who
want to work in the area of criminal justice. It is also a critical area
for the insurance industry, which is trying to cut the heavy costs associated
with fraud," Bourcier said.
Gregory Hayes, associate director of health and director of the Division
of Laboratories, said "This partnership will build a stronger forensic
program for Rhode Island by connecting laboratory practice with research
and continuing education."
Dennis Hilliard, director of the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory,
located at URI and one of the co-directors of the URI Forensic Science Partnership,
said that one of the main roles of the University and the Crime Laboratory
is teaching. "With this partnership, we will be able to send graduate
and undergraduate students to get hands-on training in the state health
department labs, as well as our own. It's a natural combination."
For Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116