West Virginia University (WVU)s Forensic Science initiative will benefit from $4 million that U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., added to legislation that has received key committee approval.

“WVUs forensic science programs are key to developing new and better ways to use forensics in the nations defense and homeland security efforts. These programs answer the call for cutting-edge forensic technologies and highly-trained forensic specialists. Such crime-fighting tools are helping to convict criminals and make Americans safer,”Byrd said.

Byrd added $4 million to the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill for WVU s forensic science initiative. The legislation has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will next come before the full Senate for action.

“Senator Byrd’s longstanding support of WVU ’s forensic sciences program has helped push the university into the forefront of the national effort against crime and terrorism,”said WVU President-Elect Michael S. Garrison.”This program meets a real needto apply the best science we have to the protection of our homes, industries and transportation infrastructure. The additional assistance that Senator Byrd has secured will advance this work, help West Virginia grow, and serve the needs of the country. We truly appreciate his advocacy on behalf of WVU and his untiring work to make this a stronger university.”

The WVU programs support forensic science research and professional training, including WVU s first-of-its-kind specialized undergraduate degree program; develop new methods for collecting and examining evidence; and provide resources to improve forensic science in crime labs across the nation.

“Forensic science is a rapidly changing field, and WVU is helping law enforcement to stay ahead of the curve. The university is researching new technologies and methods to combat crime, providing forensics training for current law enforcement officials, and educating the next generation of forensic scientists,”Byrd said.”WVUs forensic degree program is the schools fastest growing undergraduate curriculum and helps to attract students from West Virginia and throughout the nation. Investing in technology education is another way to bring employers and good paying jobs to the Mountain State .”