Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $286,748)
The Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory (PCFL) performs DNA analyses of evidentiary materials for law enforcement agencies operating in Pinellas County, Florida and for the District Six Medical Examiner which serves Pinellas and Pasco Counties. DNA analysis requests are accepted for both violent and non-violent crimes. Recent issues with irregular staffing do to COVID-19, employee turnover, and sharp increases in DNA submissions has resulted in a moderate backlog of DNA case requests.
In order to order to increase analytical casework capacity and decrease average turnaround times, PCFL will use 2022 DNA CEBR funds to 1) continue to fund 1.5 DNA analysts (currently funded on the 2021 DNA CEBR) to perform casework activities including analysis, reporting, technical reviews, and testimony; 2) fund DNA test kits (extraction, quantitation, amplification) for the funded analysts to perform analyses; and 3) address workflow bottlenecks by acquiring additional equipment for use in the automated extraction of DNA.