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Johnson County Sheriff's Office plan for increasing DNA testing resulting in the reduction of turn around times for CODIS samples processed and a reduction in the backlog of cases.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $259,852)

FY2022 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory

Project Abstract


Johnson County is the most populous county in the state of Kansas with an estimated 2020 population of 613,219.  The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory (JCSOCL) provides services at no cost to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies within the county.  As is the trend across the country requests for biology examination and DNA analysis have increased over the last several years resulting in increased backlogs and turnaround times.  Specifically requests at the JCSOCL for biology/DNA analysis have increased approximately 20% in the last year and exceeds the laboratory’s output capacity for timely analyses.

The Biology section of the JCSOCL consists of thirteen full time positions.  Currently one forensic scientist and one technician position are grant funded.  Based on productivity trends in 2021 it is expected that the two grant funded position will be able to complete approximately 234 cases and 1,050 samples during the grant funded period depending on the type of cases worked.  During 2021 the two grant funded positions have been responsible for approximately 100 CODIS entries/60 CODIS hits during a similar period of time requested in the current grant proposal. 

The goal of the JCSOCL is to provide high quality DNA analyses with a reduced turnaround time (≤180 days). In order to obtain this goal, three objectives have been identified.  Objective one is to retain two full-time grant funded positions to work biology/DNA cases, one forensic scientist and one technician.  Objective two is to purchase three new Maxwell 48 RSC instruments (includes 3 instruments, service agreement and 3 additional deck trays).  Objective three is to purchase a service and maintenance agreement for PACE software (5 licenses) and temperature verification annual maintenance for six Proflex thermal cyclers.

Continual improvements to efficiency have been made to the Biology section including new technologies, rapid screening techniques, and additional personnel. It is critical that we at least maintain the level of staffing in the Biology section. This funding will be used to retain the current grant funded forensic scientist and forensic technician positions.  The new instrumentation and annual maintenance contracts are necessary to ensure that samples continue being processed without interruption by the laboratory.  Taken together these steps will increase efficiency, increase the number of samples processed while decreasing turnaround times using analysts, technicians and new instrumentation to solve crime.

Date Created: September 23, 2022