Congressman Tom Latham was definitely among friends when he visited the Ames Laboratory on August 18 to talk to members of the Midwest Forensics Resource Center. The MFRC was sponsoring a one-day workshop entitled, "Innovations in Infrastructure for Crime Laboratories," and Congressman Latham was one of the speakers at the workshop.
In his introduction, David Baldwin, MFRC director, thanked Congressman Latham for being a "stalwart supporter" of Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University. "We also thank you for your long history of support of law enforcement improvement in Iowa and the United States," said Baldwin. "We're grateful to you for this support."
Congressman Latham's support of the MFRC dates back to 2002 when he secured $3 million in federal funding for the center. He secured an additional $3 million for the center in 2003. The money is being used to help the MFRC promote its five-part mission of casework assistance, training, education, research, and technological innovations in management and infrastructure. (The fifth part of the mission statement was added during the August 18 meeting.)
Saying the September 11 terrorist attacks changed life for everyone, Latham commented that it is important the country have a coordinated effort in forensics to fight terrorist threats against our national security. Calling the MFRC a "one-stop-shop," Latham said the center contributes to this coordination with its ability to pull together all the resources of ISU and make them accessible to those who need them.
Commenting further on his willingness to provide support for the MFRC, Latham told center members he'll work to ensure funding continues for the MFRC. "I hope to maintain or increase funding for the MFRC," concluded Latham.
~ Steve Karsjen