Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $602,468)
Idaho State Police Forensic Services (ISPFS) provides forensic services for approximately 1.7 million people in the state of Idaho. ISPFS performs all the forensic DNA testing for Idaho, including testing for all sexual assault evidence collection kits. Idaho has a 50 day average turnaround time for a DNA case with the oldest case in the lab being over 588 days. There are currently 103 cases that have been in the lab over 30 days and 103 sexual assault kits that have been in the lab longer than 90 days. In the last five years, the number of DNA requests has increased by 124%. However, the efficiency of the lab has also increased. The number of cases completed by the lab has increased 456% since 2017. ISPFS is always looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in the DNA unit.
ISPFS will continue to build upon the successes in the DNA unit by retaining four DNA section analysts. These positions perform analysis, help analyze the data, write reports, and perform technical review for other scientists. Idaho is growing quickly as one of the fastest growing states in the country. The state cannot keep up with the number of DNA analyst positions needed in the state.
ISPFS also plans to upgrade laboratory instruments to be compliant with current operating system security requirements, perform a validation for the DNA database unit, purchase a crime-lite auto, and perform a validation of the recently purchased laboratory robot.
Grant funds will be used to send analysts to training to meet FBI continuing education requirements and to stay current on analysis methods and techniques. Grant funds will also be used to send three individuals to the BJA training in 2023.