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FY2021 DNA Backlog Reduction Program

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $596,391)

Nebraska State Patrol

FY2021 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program

Project Abstract


The Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab (NSPCL) is a division of the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP).  The NSPCL is responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for all state and local law enforcement agencies in the state of Nebraska. The NSPCL is accredited by the ASCLD-LAB-International Accreditation to ISO 17025. In addition, the NSPCL is mandated by state law to provide for DNA analysis on DNA samples collected from all convicted felony and certain qualifying misdemeanor offenders. The NSPCL is responsible for storing and maintaining the resultant profiles in the Nebraska Data Bank. 


The federal funding from this award will be used to achieve the following goals:


Reduce the backlog of forensic biology/DNA cases through the continued funding of three forensic scientists positions dedicated to casework.


Maintain the current turnaround time and backlog-free status of DNA database samples through the continued funding of the forensic scientist responsible for performing database operations.
Provide continuing education to DNA forensic scientists as required by the accrediting bodies.


Purchase a replacement AB 7500 Real-Time PCR instrument to replace a unreliable, aging instrument.


Purchase an AB 3500xL Genetic Analyzer instrument to replace an older AB 3500 Genetic Analyzer allowing for increased reliability and increased instrument capacity.


Outsource the validation of the AB 3500xL Genetic Analyzer to reduce the impact on scientists casework production.


Outsource the validation of a STRmix Probabilistic Genotyping software upgrade.



With the $596,391 made available through this project, the NSPCL expects to analyze 324 cases, reduce the turnaround time of forensic cases to less than three months, and maintain the no backlog status in the Database Section. This will be done while increasing the ability of the NSPCL to process samples routinely seen in casework today.

Date Created: December 2, 2021