Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $249,936)
FY2021 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory
Johnson County is the most populous county in the state of Kansas with an estimated 2019 population of 602,401. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office Criminalistics Laboratory (JCSOCL) provides services at no cost to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies within the county.
The Biology section consists of 11 forensic scientists and 3 technicians. Currently one forensic scientist and two technician positions are grant funded. All technicians and forensic scientists assigned to the Biology section are capable of performing biology/DNA casework. Requests for biology/DNA analysis has increased approximately 33% in the last year and has exceeded the laboratory's output capacity for timely analysis.
The goal of the JCSOCL is to provide high quality DNA analyses with a reduced turnaround time (≤180 days). In order to obtain this goal, three objectives have been identified. Objective one is to retain two full-time grant funded positions to work biology/DNA cases, one forensic scientist and one technician. Objective two is to purchase four new thermal cyclers and a contract service agreement for annual temperature verification. Objective three is to provide overtime to analysts and technicians to assist in reducing the backlog and decrease turn-around time.
Continual improvements have been made to the efficiency of the Biology section including new technologies, rapid screening techniques, and additional personnel. It is critical that we at least maintain the level of staffing in the Biology section. This funding will be used to retain the current grant funded forensic scientist and forensic technician positions. This funding will allow analysts and technicians to work overtime to increase the number of samples currently being worked in the laboratory. Additionally, the new instrumentation is important to ensure that samples continue being processed by the laboratory. Taken together these steps will increase efficiency, increase the number of samples processed while decreasing turn-around times using analysts, technicians and new instrumentation to solve crime.