Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,586)
The Oakland Police Department’s Crime Laboratory serves the City of Oakland. The Oakland Police Department is requesting funding for the following goals: 1) enhance capacity to increase the number of samples analyzed, 2) reduce the DNA case turnaround time, and 3) reduce the backlog of DNA case requests. The funding from this award will be used for: 1) purchase DNA testing supplies and reagents for the analysis of forensic DNA casework, 2) support continuing education and training of our scientists to meet accreditation requirements, 3) the purchase of one replacement liquid handler instrument, and 4) the purchase of annual analysis software licenses and preventative maintenance contracts. These goals and objectives will help the crime laboratory to better meet the needs of our community and reduce DNA backlog.
The purchase of DNA testing supplies and reagents are for the analysis of crime scene and associated reference samples. The purchase of one liquid handler instrument will replace an older liquid handler. This liquid handler is vital for processing of biological material during the digestion phase thus increasing throughput capacity for downstream DNA typing process. The purchase of annual upgrade and preventative maintenance contracts will aid in the interpretation of complex mixtures and ensure critical instruments remain functioning. Providing continuing education and training to our scientists will provide valuable knowledge and acquired skills to enhance current knowledge and skills so we may better serve our community.
The OPD Laboratory expects to analyze at least 237 backlogged forensic biology/DNA case requests with Program funded DNA typing reagents and supplies. The lab expects to reduce the turnaround time from assignment to the scientist to completion of the case report (including review time) to 60 business days on average. The DNA profiles obtained from probative evidence will be entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and uploaded to the National DNA Index System (NDIS) when match estimation requirements are met. The decrease in turnaround time and the increase in the number of DNA samples analyzed will enable the lab to increase the number of cases completed annually thus reducing the backlog.