Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $226,000)
FY 2022 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program
The Midwest Regional Forensic Laboratory provides forensic science service in the areas of Biology/DNA, Latent Prints, Drug Chemistry, and Toxicology for all the law enforcement agencies within the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Sherburne, and Wright.
The Biology section will be using the funds from the CEBR grant to extend employment of a hire from the 2020 CEBR Grant (Award: 2018-DN-BX-0071) for an additional two years. The laboratory hired this scientist in December 2021, this grant will pay all expenses for this employee through September 2024. We anticipate this scientist will complete DNA training by the end of 2022.
At the end of 2021, the Biology laboratory was operating at about an 87-day average turnaround on all DNA requests for service. The laboratory has two goals with the grant funding 1) the laboratory would like to reduce the laboratory turnaround time for DNA cases to 60 days, and 2) Increase the number of DNA requests completed section wide by 20% per year of the grant.
A biology scientist in our laboratory is expected to average completion of at least 20 DNA requests for service per month. This scientist should complete DNA training around the end of 2022. When training is completed, this biology scientist should increase section completion of DNA requests for service by about 240 per year or about 20%. We anticipate this biology scientist will increase the section completion of DNA requests for service by 380 (approx. 20 completed per month) over the grant period. Thus, the MRFL anticipates a turnaround time at the end of the grant period to be between 60 and 75 days.
Additionally, the laboratory will be purchasing a Foster & Freeman Crime Lite ML Pro Rapid Evidence Screening light source for serology examination. The Crime Lite ML Pro is the first in a new generation of evidence screening tools built to meet the demands of busy forensic laboratories tasked with processing large quantities of evidence. The system is a rapid evidence screening tool to identify semen, blood, saliva, and vaginal fluids.