Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $276,900)
The City of Aurora is requesting $276,980 to enhance the DNA capacity, reduce backlog and improve the timeliness of DNA analysis in the Unified Metropolitan Forensic Crime Laboratory (UMFCL), for which it is a parent agency and fiscal agent. The UMFCL is an ANAB accredited laboratory that provides DNA analysis and other forensic services for approximately 1.4 million citizens, which accounts for a quarter of the state’s population. The mission of the UMFCL is to provide quality forensic services in a timely and unbiased manner for criminal investigations. In our small laboratory setting, the DNA scientists are tasked to perform multiple duties while maintaining casework. DNA cases involving differential extractions require hands-on components, which reduces the efficiency of these type of cases and increases the risk of human error. There is also a bottleneck in the final statistical analysis of the data in the system with analysts waiting to perform this final interpretation step of the data. The City is requesting grant funds to purchase a hands-off differential extraction robotic system with a validation study, update the probabilistic statistical software program to a more current version including validation, the purchase of an additional statistical software license with computer, annual training for the DNA staff, and consumables needed to perform testing. These grant funds will improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the DNA unit at the UMFCL. The additional funding will allow the lab to achieve the goals of this grant, which are to reduce the hands on portion of differential extraction, update current statistical software program, and to maintain training for staff.
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