Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $645,641)
The Phoenix Police Department Laboratory Services Bureau (PPD-LSB) is responsible for the analysis of evidentiary material associated with criminal investigations within the city limits of Phoenix, Arizona. The PPD-LSB has a fully operational Forensic DNA Section and Evidence Screening Section that are responsible for the screening, collection and DNA analysis of biological evidence. The PPD-LSB has a demonstrated history, over the last 19 years, of successfully managing state and federal grants totaling over and achieving the project goals. As with most governmental entities, the PPD-LSB is facing budgetary constraints, but continues to focus on addressing the challenges associated with backlogged cases awaiting DNA analysis. Areas of focus are using CODIS to provide investigative leads for unsolved cases, improving turnaround times, and reducing the backlog by funding salaries for four Forensic Scientists, completing backlogged cases utilizing overtime and outsourcing, providing training for DNA analysts, supporting the analysis of forensic biology cases by upgrading software for instruments used in the DNA analyses and completing a evaluation to improve business processes in the Forensic Biology Section. The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals: Increase the capacity of the section and reduce the turnaround time for cases by funding the salaries for Forensic Scientists for 18 months and Forensic Scientists for 6 months. Reduce the turnaround time for cases by using overtime to screen forensic biology screening cases. Increase the capacity of the section and reduce the turnaround time for cases by outsourcing 64 cases. Improve internal DNA analysis processes to reduce turnaround times and increase capacity by providing the continuing education for six DNA analysts at conferences and workshops. Improve internal DNA analysis processes to reduce turnaround times and increase capacity by completing a Lean Six Sigma evaluation to improve the business processes. Support the analysis of cases by upgrading software for the instrument and computer that for two 3500 instruments, three HID Real-Time PCR instruments and three Qiagility systems.