Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $461,000)
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s (TCME) Office is a regional medical examiner’s facility located in Fort Worth, Texas that provides services to Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and Johnson Counties. These counties represent a core population of approximately three million citizens. The Medical Examiner’s Office operates a multi-discipline crime laboratory that offers Forensic Biology and DNA analysis. The Forensic Biology/DNA laboratory not only serves the Medical Examiner, District Attorney, and other Tarrant County agencies, but also provides analysis on a fee for service basis to law enforcement agencies throughout the four counties served. It also serves many other agencies throughout North Central Texas and the rest of the United States. The Department of Justice has allocated funds for the state of Texas and the TCME Crime Laboratory has been requested $461,000 as its share of the formula grant.
The proposed project would fund salary and benefits for a Sr. Forensic Biologist and a Forensic Biologist to assist in the DNA typing of biological samples, purchase supplies for validation and for developing DNA profiles in the laboratory, provide validation services, purchase new equipment, and fund required continuing education for analysts.
The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals and objectives:
Goal 1: Increase capacity and prevent a significant backlog of forensic DNA samples by:
1. continuing to support the processing of forensic samples for DNA typing via the funding of salary and benefits for a Sr. Forensic Biologist and a Forensic Biologist;
2. continuing to support the work of laboratory analysts by purchasing equipment used in DNA processing;
3. allowing casework to continue with the purchase of required supplies for casework;
4. improving the number of interpretable profiles by validating probabilistic genotyping.
Goal 2: allowing the laboratory to meet requirements for continuing education for DNA analysts by funding meeting attendance for analysts in 2024 and mandatory grant training in 2023.