Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $225,700)
The purpose of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS); Latent Print Laboratory (LPL) is to compare and identify latent prints as part of criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies across the state and from other parts of the country.
Current means of record keeping may result in human error, documents missed, damaged, or lost; and requires multiple reviews of the process to make sure all information necessary by law is present.
The implementation of a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) will allow the laboratory to provide a more efficient response in meeting Discovery requirements for the local law enforcement community, and assist them in protecting the public from crime and evolving threats by providing more timely results. A support tool such as LIMS will transform the LPL into a more modern laboratory, improving productivity, efficiency, and minimizing costs by acting as a digital backbone that automatically keeps track of data associated with case processes. By automating steps in case workflow, the laboratory can provide a response to submissions which ultimately serves to secure and prevent offenders from escalating their crimes.
This proposed project is to acquire funding to assist with the procurement process of identifying a vendor of a LIMS, the software, and to start implementing the system within the DCJS Latent Laboratory. The implementation of the software will specifically address two of the priority areas for funding: 1. protect the public from crime and evolving threats, and 2. build trust between law enforcement and the community with more transparent information generated from the laboratory. The project will begin with issuing a Request for Proposals to acquiring vendor bids, selecting a vendor, accommodating onsite visit for customization and testing, and conclude with training and implementation of LIMS for laboratory function. The process is estimated to take twelve months.
A LIMS system will enhance the laboratory’s involvement in the collaborative effort of crime fighting. It will assist with building trust among not only law enforcement, but also attorneys and the public by supporting transparency of case analysis by maintaining compliance with accreditation standards, providing security with a more efficient chain of custody, electronic signatures, and complete audit trails. Having a LIMS system will assist the laboratory with maintaining uniformity of case analysis with built in sequences of steps to ensure repeatable testing and standardized reporting and maintaining quality results by preventing the frequency of human error.