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2021 Lake County Crime Laboratory capacity enhancement through the upgrading and maintaining of equipment, retention of personnel and enhancing capabilities.

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $259,064)

The Lake County Crime Laboratory (LCCL) is a forensic laboratory performing DNA analysis for criminal investigations. Due to the use of more sensitive DNA testing kits, the LCCL has had great success with touch DNA samples, leading to an increase in DNA analysis requests. The LCCL currently employs two qualified DNA analysts, one of which also holds the position of Laboratory Director, as well as a DNA Technician. It falls to the second qualified analyst to assume most of the DNA caseload. The LCCL must utilize a portion of the 2021 CEBR grant funding to retain the second qualified DNA analyst who has been grant funded in the past. It is imperative that the LCCL retain this analyst in order to maintain compliance with the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories and NDIS requirements to ensure continued use of the CODIS database The LCCL intends to utilize funding to purchase an alternate light source (ALS) for the screening of sexual assault items for the presence of semen. This ALS is capable of capturing images of stains under UV lighting in order to maintain case documentation, which the laboratory currently is not capable of obtaining. Additionally, this unit is more powerful than the current hand-held equipment, potentially allowing for the detection of additional samples for DNA testing. The laboratory will also purchase a centrifugal concentrator in order to maximize the quantity of DNA for analysis and better preserve DNA extracts for future testing. The LCCL is currently utilizing a single small refrigerator and freezer that are both quite old and limited in space. As such, the laboratory must order more frequently and sometimes faces delays due to backorders as well as the need to perform quality control on new lots prior to use on casework. The laboratory will purchase a larger capacity refrigerator and freezer. The remaining portion of the 2021 CEBR grant funding to purchase service contracts for current laboratory instrumentation that will no longer be under warranty in order to ensure that the laboratory does not experience significant delays due to instrument down time.

Date Created: December 2, 2021