Strengthening Forensic Response and Informing Public Safety and Health



The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) will assist the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in hosting the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum on July 18-19, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The forum will take place at the Marriott Metro Center.

This NIJ Policy and Practice Forum will build off the momentum of the widespread stakeholder meetings convened to discuss the consequences of this national epidemic, including the impact it has had on public safety, public health, and the criminal justice response. This forum will disseminate topics at a policy level that are being discussed in more focused and often closed forums, while paying particular attention to addressing best practices for forensic laboratories.

This forum will promote cooperative initiatives to leverage available funding as efficiently as possible; identify and promote scientific research, best practices and lessons learned for forensic science organizations and practitioners; assess strategies to improve surveillance methodologies to encourage use and collaboration of existing programs such as the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program, National Forensic Laboratory Information System, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and Centers for Disease Control Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program; and identify strategies for workforce development, casework efficiency, and issues related to increased caseloads in forensic science organizations.

Target Audience: policymakers, governmental programs, state and local law enforcement officials, forensic laboratories, medical examiners and coroners (ME/C), and addiction specialists.

The forum is open to the public at no cost. Feel free to stay all day or stop by and listen to specific presentations. You can register for the event and access the agenda below.

Draft Agenda

Attend In Person

Attend Online

Registration for online-only attendees will open in June/July 2019. Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when it opens.

Tentative Agenda

Day 1

Opening Remarks and Overview of NIJ Portfolio for Opioids Research and Support Programs
► Panel Discussion 1- Caseloads and Operational Solutions
► Panel Discussion 2- Drug Surveillance Challenges and Analytical Response
► Panel Discussion 3- Workforce Shortages and Innovative Solutions
► Panel Discussion 4- Forensic Workforce Safety and Resiliency
► Closing Remarks

Day 2

► Panel Discussion 5- Policy and Practice
► Panel Discussion 6- Research to Integrate Public Safety and Health Data for Forensic Response
► Panel Discussion 7- Surveillance Systems to Inform Response
► Panel Discussion 8- The Road to Policy and Practice
► Closing Remarks


The FTCoE partners with fellow researchers and practitioners to develop resources to help transition technology into practice, bridging the gap between the scientific and the justice communities. Click here for several resources specific to toxicology, available for download on the FTCoE website.