Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $379,664)
The Columbus Police Crime Laboratory has a current authorized strength of nine casework analysts and one DNA Supervisor/Technical Leader. Prior to 2020, the laboratory had been successful in reducing the backlog of cases awaiting analysis. However, in 2020 the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the resignation of one analyst and the DNA Technical Leader, created an increased backlog of cases that persists in 2022.
The DNA case submissions have remained fairly constant. The DNA Section plans to increase capacity by adding additional personnel in technician roles, which will allow the existing DNA analysts to focus their time on DNA analysis, interpretation, and report writing. The additional personnel, coupled with the purchase of new equipment and DNA supplies, will improve efficiency in the DNA Section and have positive impact on the criminal justice system in the central Ohio area.
Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals/objectives:
Hire two police evidence technicians to assist with the initial evidence handling and screening tasks and communicating with detectives to obtain the information necessary to process DNA evidence for entry into CODIS
Purchase additional equipment to streamline the screening of evidence items.
Reduce the DNA case backlog by purchasing supplies necessary to process case submissions.
Provide required annual training to the DNA analysts on current and emerging technologies in DNA analysis to help generate ideas for new methods or processes that can be used to increase efficiency in this laboratory.