Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $400,554)
FY 2021 DNA CAPACITY ENHANCEMENT AND BACKLOG REDUCTION PROGRAM
AGENCY NAME: SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department Crime Laboratory ("Lab") has made significant changes to its DNA analysis processes in recent years. The adoption of 'STRmix' probabilistic genotyping software, and of methods to analyze the expanded CODIS locus set, have created a serious bottleneck in our analysis flow. By increasing the amount of data acquired per sample analyzed, and the complexity of the techniques used to interpret this data, these methods significantly slow the production of interpreted results from analysis data. Additionally, recent California state legislation, Senate Bill 22 (SB 22), now requires the Lab to analyze all sexual assault evidence kits submitted within 120 days of receipt. To address increasing requests for service and impacts of SB 22, the Lab has sought automated efficiencies that now require resources to comply with validation and workflow expectations set by accreditation and the FBI QAS.
The Lab requests $400,554 in program funding to increase its DNA analysis capacity and reduce backlog. The funding will be used to procure contracts for third-party validations services to on-board automated platforms to transition the Lab's workflows from manual cradle-to-grave techniques to efficient automated workflows. Funding will also be utilized to upgrade outdated STR analysis software and continuing education for DNA analysts. The goals of the project funded by this award are to decrease our DNA sample turn-around time, increase efficiency of DNA analysis, and reduce the backlog of DNA cases.