Forensic Sciences Bureau seeks bigger budget to retain talent

By John McPhaul

María Conte Miller, director of the island Forensic Sciences Bureau, said Thursday that the agency needs a bigger budget to stem a talent drain.

“Right now there is a need for more personnel in the ballistics area. In the area of chemistry, we need more experts there. We are working with 50 percent of the experts that are needed in that area,” Conte Miller said in a radio interview. “It requires a salary reclassification to retain those good professionals.”

“They have very good offers in laboratories in the United States and in pharmaceutical companies,” she said. “To retain them is complicated. They offer you a much better salary to work in the United States. We have lost many, many experts who are going to U.S. laboratories.”

Conte Miller said the bureau is working on the budget for the new fiscal year.

“The budget for recruitment has been identified,” she said. “The budget that must now be identified is to offer a salary improvement, a salary reclassification, to the employees, especially to the experts.”