Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $414,919)
City of Fort Worth
Police Department Crime Laboratory Unit (Crime Lab)
BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program
The Crime Lab is a multi-disciplinary laboratory that provides forensic services, including serology and DNA testing, to the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) and the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. In 2020, the Biology Unit issued reports on 134 DNA cases which represented 325 DNA samples. The Crime Lab is accredited by the Texas Forensic Science Commission and ANAB until December 31, 2024.
The City of Fort Worth seeks funding through the BJA FY 21 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program to enhance services provided by the FWPD Crime Laboratory. With these funds, the Biology Unit anticipates outsourcing ~230 cases, but the exact number will largely be dependent on how many samples per case are suitable for DNA testing and the type of testing required on each sample. A total of $414,919.00 is requested to increase the efficiency of Crime Lab operations and improve the timeliness of service.
The primary purpose of this project is to improve the capacity and reduce backlogs and turnaround times of the Biology Unit. Funding is requested for the Crime Lab to meet the following objectives:
1. Provide funds to outsource evidence to an accredited laboratory to reduce the number of cases awaiting analysis. Outsourcing will reduce the backlog and turnaround time.
2. Provide funds to maintain a Property Control Specialist (salary and fringe benefits) to inventory and transfer cold case evidence to the Property Control Unit for long-term storage. Recording/inventorying the evidence will reduce delays in locating samples in storage when a request is made, thereby improving the turnaround time.