Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $350,448)
The County of San Mateo is located in Northern California. It is positioned immediately south of the County & City of San Francisco, with a population over 730,000 and comprises 450 square miles (25% of which is urban space).The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory (SMCSO-FL) services approximately thirty law enforcement and law enforcement related agencies in the County of San Mateo and its surrounding areas. These agencies include: various Law Enforcement Agencies, the District Attorney’s Office, the Coroner’s Office, Probation, Parks & Recreation, Animal Control; California Highway Patrol; California Fish & Game; and, transportation authorities. By contractual agreement, the SMCSO-FL also provides forensic services to the City of Vallejo (Solano County), the Cities of Concord and Pittsburg (Contra Costa County), and the City of Fremont (Alameda County).
On May 11, 2005, the SMCSO-FL began performing STR DNA analysis.
In March 2020, the SMCSO-FL was re-accredited by the ANSI-National Accreditation Board (ANAB) using International Standards and is current with its accreditation. To demonstrate compliance with ANAB guidelines, the Forensic Laboratory undergoes external audits, not less than once every two years, and internal audits not less than once a year.
The SMCSO-FL is a full forensic DNA casework laboratory and undergoes external DNA audits, not less than once every two years, to demonstrate compliance with the DNA Quality Assurance Standards established by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Federal funding from the FY2021 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program will be used within a 24-month project period, beginning on January 1, 2022.
The SMCSO-FL’s goals include:
Purchasing supplies for Forensic Biology/DNA evidence examinations.
Providing required continuing education for Forensic Biology/DNA examiners.
Reducing turnaround time by hiring a contract employee to assist the Forensic Biology/DNA Section.
The SMCSO-FL expects:
To complete at least 300 cases by the end of the award.
To not exceed a turnaround time of 250 days.
Examiner throughput to exceed 2000 samples.
Currently, 7 fully qualified examiners are responsible for working on DNA cases and 3 interns assist with general laboratory functions and to screen evidence for the presence of DNA.
The SMCSO-FL is an NDIS participating laboratory in good standing. The SMCSO-FL enters any DNA profile which results from a crime scene evidence sample into the National DNA Index System (CODIS), and as applicable, into the National DNA Index System (NDIS).