Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $446,834)
The Crime Laboratory, under the Office of the Santa Clara County District Attorney, is the local government laboratory responsible for the analysis of physical evidence collected within Santa Clara County. It serves over 13 criminal justice agencies, including the Sheriff and Medical Examiner’s Offices.
Crimes reported for Santa Clara County in calendar year 2019, included 6,361 violent crimes, 47,606 property crimes, 32,695 instances of larceny-theft, and 253 cases of arson. The Forensic Biology/DNA Unit of the crime laboratory is a full-service laboratory providing biological screening of evidence, autosomal STR analysis, and Y-STR analysis.
The SCCDACL is currently facing budgetary constraints in California, which makes assistance through Federal funding essential to decrease the laboratory's backlog. Additionally, Assembly Bill l517 has caused an increase in DNA case submissions to analyze sexual assault evidence; therefore, we need funding to meet customer demands. We propose using the Federal award to achieve the following goal:
Increase the DNA casework laboratory’s capacity to ultimately increase sample throughput and reduce turnaround times.
The DNA casework laboratory requests funding through this award to purchase one (1) laboratory instrument/robot and validation support for the workstation, DNA LIMS system enhancements, and additional analysis parameters for analysis software. Through these purchases, the laboratory intends to increase capacity, increase sample throughput, decrease turnaround times, and reduce the DNA Unit’s backlog.