Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $270,507)
A grant award under the FY22 DNA Backlog Reduction Program would support ongoing casework capacity increases in the Forensic Biology Unit of the Anne Arundel County Police Department Forensic Services Section to reduce the overall number of DNA cases awaiting analysis. Enhanced productivity and efficiency is expected to minimize the existing case backlog thereby decreasing the overall turnaround time for newly submitted DNA cases through the following objectives:
1. Retention of a full-time W-2 temporary grant-funded Laboratory Technician via salary funding. The Laboratory Technician will assist the Forensic Biology Unit with various laboratory duties including but not limited to, quality assurance, general housekeeping, reagent preparation, and administrative aide.
2. Funding for approximately 112 hours of overtime during the award period within the DNA unit.
3. Purchase specialized laboratory equipment as well as consumables including a QIACUBE extraction robot, 3500 Genetic Analyzer, scalpels and pipette tips.
The FY22 DNA Backlog Reduction Program grant award would provide funding to retain the Laboratory Technician as a W-2 FTE temporary County contract employee to assist with general laboratory duties including QA/QC, administrative tasks, and general housekeeping. The support function provided by the position will aide in reducing the backlog. The essential tasks performed by the Laboratory Technician are duties that cannot be readily accomplished by analysts without negatively impacting case turnaround times and throughput.
Second, the grant award would provide funding for approximately 112 overtime hours for the Forensic Biology Unit. The overtime hours would decrease the DNA case backlog by approximately 80 cases over the award period.
Third, the grant award would allow for the purchase of specialized equipment and consumables to keep up with the demand of added casework. The specialized equipment would include the purchase of a QIACUBE extraction robot and a 3500 Genetic Analyzer. The consumables would include pipette tips and scalpels used during extra backlog reduction casework.
In conclusion, the FY22 DNA Backlog Reduction Program funding will allow the Forensic Biology Unit to increase the processing, recordation, screening, and analysis of DNA case samples therefore, reducing the overall backlog. This grant is critical to addressing the current case submission levels for the Forensic Biology Unit to meet adequate turnaround times for the department as well as trial deadlines. Grant funding will significantly reduce the DNA case backlog and improve the Forensic Biology Unit’s output.