Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,022,170)
The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Forensic and Technical Services Section (F&TSS) serves over nine million residents in the State of New Jersey. It is comprised of the Office of Forensic Sciences (OFS) and the Forensic Services Bureau (FSB). The OFS maintains four Regional Forensic Laboratories (North, South, East, and Central) and the DNA Laboratory. The FSB is comprised of the Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, the Forensic Imaging Unit, the Ballistics Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit. The F&TSS provides forensic investigative services to the community and is responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing evidentiary material associated with criminal investigations.
The F&TSS strives to stay at the forefront of emerging forensic technologies. One of the goals of the DNA Laboratory is to improve scientific excellence. The FY22 DNA CEBR Grant Program will help the Lab reach this goal by allowing for the implementation of the best available technology for collection, screening and analysis of forensic DNA evidence. In keeping with this fundamental goal, the DNA Laboratory, the Forensic Serology Unit, and the CSI Unit plan to utilize funding from the FY22 DNA CEBR grant to stay ahead of the changing landscape of forensic DNA analysis. The enhanced capability of these units to collect, screen, and analyze DNA evidence more efficiently will result in an increase in the capacity of the DNA Laboratory to process more cases. This will be achieved through purchases of equipment, supplies, and technologies that will aid these units in their daily operations and allow them to process more challenging samples.
Funding from the grant will also be used to fund travel and registration costs for discipline-related training and enable 22 analysts to attend several off-site conferences on a rotational basis. Attendance at these conferences not only fulfills the yearly continuing education requirement for those who can attend, but it also gives them the opportunity to learn about the latest trends in forensic DNA analysis and share these ideas with their colleagues in the lab. Funding will also allow for in-house training for the entire DNA Laboratory staff in 2024 to meet the requirements for annual continuing education.
With the aid of funding from the FY22 DNA CEBR Grant Program, forensic services offered to the law enforcement community and the citizens of the State of New Jersey will be greatly improved and will help bring justice to those who commit crime.