Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $75,000)
The St. Charles County Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory (SCCPDCL) provides forensic DNA analysis services to the law enforcement community of St. Charles County Missouri. The SCCPDCL has seen a steady increase in DNA submissions as DNA evidence continues to be more prevalent and highly valuable in criminal investigations. As a result, the SCCPDCL is committed to using efficient and reliable methodologies, equipment and supplies to analyze the varied forensic DNA samples submitted. The SCCPDCL will use its portion ($75,000) of the FY21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program to enhance its DNA testing capacity and reduce its DNA backlog by providing overtime for analysts and purchasing DNA extraction and quantitation supplies. Funding analyst overtime is a proven way for the SCCPDCL to reduce its DNA backlog and improve the timeliness of forensic DNA testing it provides. The SCCPDCL anticipates working 250 additional DNA cases during the program period as a result of program funding. Supplies for processing DNA samples increase the efficiency and productivity of the DNA section. Three major goals of this program are: 1) Reduce the DNA backlog by 10% through analyst overtime and the purchase of supplies and DNA software. 2) Reduce the average turnaround time to less than 200 days by funding analyst overtime. 3) Increase the number of items analyzed per analyst per month to over 40. Achieving these goals will increase the overall productivity and efficiency of the SCCPDCL - positively impacting the investigations and prosecutions of all laboratory cases, especially those with DNA evidence. This program will also strengthen the SCCPDCL’s commitment to the law enforcement agencies it serves.