Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $956,789)
As part of this program, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has allocated $5,940,753 to the State of Florida. Based on the number of Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Part 1 Violent Crimes reported to the FBI for 2020, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) Forensic Services Bureau (FSB) has been offered $956,789. The FSB proposes to use these funds to continue to increase the laboratory's capacity to analyze DNA samples, reduce the DNA sample turnaround time, and reduce the number of backlogged DNA cases awaiting analysis.
The MDPD FSB will fund five positions with this award. Two Criminalists will continue to process cases submitted to the Forensic Biology Section (FBS), including both serological and DNA analysis. A third Criminalist will be hired once funds are available from this award. Additionally, two Police Crime Scene Technicians (PCST) will perform FBS daily tasks such as reagent preparation, monitoring levels of inventory, cleaning glassware, instrument maintenance, and case folder retrieval in addition to the receiving/stocking of all supplies, consumables, and analysis kits.
The FSB has been able to continually reduce its backlog of forensic biology/DNA cases awaiting analysis. Overtime funding provided by the Forensic DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program has been critical to this success. In order to manage current and future case analysis requests in a timely manner, overtime funding from this CEBR award will be utilized to process the portion of DNA cases that cannot be processed during the regular 40-hour workweek. Overtime funds will also be utilized to complete various FBS validation projects.
Additionally, funds are being requested for travel to national DNA conferences to satisfy continuing education requirements for FBS Criminalists.
The FSB has identified these project goals and has formulated a detailed plan to accomplish these goals. Ultimately, through funding from this award, the FSB will be able to increase its capacity to analyze DNA cases in a timely manner. This funding will generate more DNA profiles for CODIS entry which will aid more investigations, thus contributing to the safety of Miami-Dade County’s residents.
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