Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,396,803)
FY 2021 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
The Forensic Biology (DNA) Section of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Scientific Services Bureau (LASD-SSB) has two specific goals for this proposal: first is to maintain the number of samples analyzed, casework backlog and turnaround time for casework while training six screening analysts (14% of the section) through a year-long DNA training program to become proficient DNA analysts and the second is to reduce the turnaround time of casework and increase the number of samples analyzed by 2% each by the end of the award period.
The LASD-SSB faces a continued increase in requests for DNA casework but does not receive additional funding to support the increased requests. The DNA Section will use funding from this award to support overtime for personnel, supplies for DNA casework, travel/training opportunities for staff, casework outsourcing, and a small amount of equipment utilized for screening and sample prep.
Overtime for personnel will allow staff to work outside of the regular work week to take on more cases, complete more data analysis and finish more file reviews, all of which are areas that the DNA Section sees bottlenecks in its processing. The travel/training funds will be used by staff to complete required continuing education for 2022 and 2023 and the funding for outsourcing will allow specific cases to be sent for male-specific DNA profiling (Y-STRs) which enhances the laboratory’s ability to complete work.
The LASD-SSB has been awarded DNA Backlog Reduction and/or Capacity Enhancement grant funds for more than a decade. Over the years, several improvements have been made to increase the amount of casework the laboratory can complete. As the laboratory has become more efficient, and DNA technology has improved, more casework has been requested by the Sheriff’s stations and outside law enforcement agencies we serve. Purchases from this award will continue to build on progress already made possible by previous awards and will assist the LASD-SSB in completing at least 6700 cases over this award period.