Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $933,421)
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Forensic Laboratory, Biology/DNN Detail, is faced with budgetary constraints and case backlogs. The requested federal funding from the FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) program in the amount of $933,421 is needed for LVMPD to accomplish the following goals:
Reduce the backlog of Biology/DNA cases and decrease case turnaround time through retaining two full-time DNA forensic laboratory technologists (hired through the 2019 DNA CEBR) to help process, record, and screen cases prior to DNA analysis. Use overtime funds for forensic scientists to process and review DNA cases in-house.
Ensure accurate laboratory capabilities of the Biology/DNA Detail through semi-annual pipette calibration and instrument maintenance.
Increase the Biology/DNA Details long-term capacity through implementation of a DNA LIMS Module for sample tracking during laboratory processing.
Fulfill the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Quality Assurance Standards DNA continuing education requirements by sending DNA staff to conferences.
LVMPD’s Biology/DNA Detail expects to process at least 100 cases in-house with federal-funded overtime. By utilizing overtime, processing cases in-house will reduce the overall backlog of LVMPD DNA cases, with the goal of reducing case turnaround time by 30 days. An additional 200 cases currently contained in the Biology/DNA backlog are targeted to be processed and screened by two full-time DNA forensic laboratory technologists using grant funding. This should increase the capacity of the Biology/DNA Detail by an average of five samples per forensic scientist per month. Grants funds will not only benefit the LVMPD Forensic Laboratory by increasing the turnaround time but will also give law enforcement investigators the advantage of finding suspects in a more expeditious manner to stop the perpetrator from reoffending in the community.
The areas affected by the FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction project include: