Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $200,000)
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office, Forensic Science Division (WCSO-FSD) is the agency that is responsible for analyzing forensic evidence associated with criminal investigations for all state and local law enforcement agencies within the northern region of the state of Nevada. The WCSO-FSD Biology Unit is responsible for overseeing DNA analysis and subsequent upload of DNA profiles from crime scenes and offender samples to the DNA database (CODIS).
The number of cases that the WCSO-FSD Biology Unit receives each year has continued to rise. With the passing of legislation requiring all sexual assault kits collected in Nevada be tested within 120 days of receipt into the laboratory and a constant rise in the population, the demand for DNA testing has increased significantly. Therefore, the focus of this award will be to increase the capacity and capabilities of our DNA laboratory. This will be accomplished through the purchase of equipment to aid in the visualization of touchmarks on various types of fabric; the funding of overtime needed to eliminate/prevent bottlenecks in the DNA analysis of cases and offender samples; the purchase of pre-made sexual assault kits and offender kits; and funds for travel and training for the Biology Unit.
This award will be specifically used for the following goals:
1. Provide continuing education for DNA Criminalists in the laboratory
2. Increase the capacity and capabilities of the WCSO-FSD casework and databasing laboratory
This grant supports the WCSO-FSD’s goal of creating and maintaining a turnaround time of less than 30 days for offender sample analysis and less than 120 days for the completion of DNA analysis on a forensic case. This grant will also ensure that our criminalists stay abreast of new technologies in the ever-changing world of Forensic DNA