Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $370,899)
The DuPage County Forensic Science Center (DCFSC) is a forensic science laboratory that analyzes evidence items from approximately 40 law enforcement agencies within DuPage County, Illinois. The DNA Section is an NDIS-participating laboratory and offers DNA analysis of casework samples utilizing STRs and Y-STRs. Funds in the amount of $370,899 are requested. A portion of the grant funds will pay for overtime for DNA analysts, to be used specifically during periods of increased submissions or decreased staffing, when it is necessary to prevent a backlog, or for violent rush cases. The capacity of the laboratory will be increased by grant funding of supplies needed for additional casework and by remodeling and equipping existing unused space to expand the area available for FB screening and to house a rapid DNA instrument. In addition, we seek to upgrade outdated software, provide service contracts for essential equipment, and purchase and validate three new thermalcyclers. The grant will fund an external audit of the DNA section that will ensure the quality of our work and will also enable the lab to comply with QAS requirements. Grant funded continuing education will improve the analysts' scientific expertise and also enable the laboratory to comply with QAS requirements. Together, these funded items will allow the laboratory to work toward the goal of increasing capacity and reducing the forensic casework turn-around time so that the backlog can, in turn, be reduced or eliminated.