Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $889,431)
The mission of the Utah Department of Public Safety - Bureau of Forensic Services (DPS-BFS) is to provide a safe and secure environment for the citizens of Utah through the application of forensic science. The goal of the forensic biology section is to provide quality and impartial forensic biological analysis in a prompt manner. The laboratory provides accurate and sound science during forensic biology and DNA analysis, while striving to maintain a rapid response to analysis requests.
DPS-BFS maintains three laboratories throughout the State of Utah: Central, Northern, and Southern laboratories. Both the Central and Southern laboratories house biology sections and are responsible for analyzing and processing forensic DNA samples. The Central laboratory also stores, accessions, and maintains all forensic DNA database samples which are outsourced for analysis. The BFS continues to see an increase in case submissions for DNA analysis as well as an increase in the number of samples per case and a continual demand for timely results and reports. BFS continues to strive to implement new and innovative ways to process case samples and provide information on the analysis of these samples to public safety agencies throughout Utah.
The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Analyze CODIS samples in-house to decrease the backlog and processing time for these samples.
2. Reduce the forensic DNA case backlog and decrease case turnaround times of our Full-Testing Team (FTT) while maintaining current turnaround times for the High-Throughput Team (HTT).
3. Increase services offered (MPS/NGS and Y-STR analysis) and capability for analyzing mixed and/or low-level samples (probabilistic genotyping) at the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services.
4. Maintain trained and qualified analysts to perform these duties.
DPS-BFS continues to reduce DNA case backlog and decrease case turnaround time of our Full-Testing Team. The goal of the BFS is to decrease and maintain a median turnaround time of 30 days for all cases while offering testing capabilities that meet the needs of our submitting agencies. BFS continues to make improvements and strategize to use the CEBR program to help reach these goals.