Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $429,769)
Funds from this grant will be used to address three main goals and associated objectives:
To reduce the backlog of unanalyzed forensic DNA cases by analyzing a minimum of 200 backlogged violent and non-violent crime DNA cases using grant funded overtime.
To provide DNA Advisory Board (DAB) required continuing education training to fourteen DNA analysts.
To purchase new and upgrade aging instrumentation and equipment.
Purchase two digital cameras, one new microscope and retrofit a second microscope to allow digital photo document of the presence of sperm cells in sexual assault casework
Purchase and install Thermo Fisher King Presto extraction robots on three Tecan Freedom Evo150 robots
Purchase and upgrade CODIS hardware and equipment
By using the 2021 DNA CEBR program grant funds for the above goals, the Orange County Crime Laboratory (OCCL) will be able to reduce the backlog and increase the laboratory capacity in the DNA Bureau. Grant funded overtime will help reduce the backlog of violent crime work requests (including historical sexual assault kits identified via a SAKI grant) and non-violent crime casework by allowing analysts to work overtime hours to complete casework and provide more timely results which will be better utilized by law enforcement and district attorney personnel. Continuing education funded by the grant will provide DNA analysts the opportunity to learn about new technology and instrumentation for purchase and implementation within the laboratory. This provided training will satisfy the yearly DAB’s requirement for continuing education of fourteen DNA analysts. New microscope equipment and digital cameras will better document the presence of sperm cells in sexual assault casework. The purchase of new extraction equipment will improve the DNA Bureau’s ability to analyze samples efficiently and reduce turnaround times. Purchasing new computer hardware will bring the CODIS operation up to NDIS recommended hardware standards and facilitate a more efficient CODIS operation.