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Reduction of DNA sample backlog

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $383,814)

San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States, with a population of approximately 1.42 million. The Crime Laboratory serves the approximately 1,900 sworn members of the Police Department. DNA remains a vitally important part of the investigators’ approach to solving crime, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in the numbers of submitted DNA laboratory requests. The DNA Unit completed approximately 930 cases in 2020, a nearly 372% increase from the 250 cases analyzed in 2000. Approximately 1,108 DNA requests were received into the laboratory in 2021. As detectives are used to receiving highly relevant information from our Criminalists, and as those same detectives endure their own staffing shortages and overwhelming workloads, more and more items are submitted for analysis in the hopes the laboratory might be able to provide investigative leads. The successes with probabilistic genotyping mixture interpretation have generated a significantly higher number of CODIS search-able profiles, providing customers with useful information that was previously unobtainable. Without use of grant funding to supply current instrumentation, overtime funding, additional staffing, and training, the laboratory would not be able to effectively meet the needs of the residents of San Diego. It is a goal to utilize these grant funds to meet the increased demands for sexual assault evidence examination, and continue to employ consistently high case productivity while decreasing turnaround times. This is planned to be accomplished with a combination of overtime funding, support staff funding, new technology, and additional training for our analysts. The agency seeks $383,814 in grant funds in an attempt to achieve some important specific results. 

1. Reduce the average turnaround time on DNA cases to below 50 days.

2. Increase the average number of samples analyzed per analyst per month to 50.

3. Reduce the backlog (cases over 30 days) by approximately 10%

4. Provide mandated training to all analysts in the DNA laboratory.

5. Increase casework throughput with continued employment of a full time laboratory technician.

6. Expand and restructure DNA lab to accommodate eight new personnel.
7. Provide analytical workstations with the accompanying lab equipment.

Date Created: September 27, 2022