Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,495,375)
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is responsible for testing all DNA/biology cases submitted by law enforcement agencies in Ohio at no cost. Due to the pandemic, the announced closure of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory’s (MVRCL) DNA section, Senate Bill 316, and equipment issues, caseloads have and will continue to increase.
BCI must also comply with federal requirements to ensure proper DNA analysis. With budget constraints imposed on the state, there is a lack of funding for BCI forensics scientists to attend training required for compliance.
To meet expected caseloads and enhance overall lab capacity, BCI will use federal funding to purchase DNA testing supplies; purchase new centrifuges; equipment maintenance and repair contracts; hire additional DNA analysts; and cover required training costs. These activities will ensure an enhancement in overall timeliness and lab capacity.
To decrease backlog and turnaround time, BCI will purchase consumable supplies. BCI will purchase quantification kits from Life Technologies Corp. In addition, BCI will purchase maintenance contracts for Tecan robots (Tecan 150 and 100 units); Promega (Maxwell 48 Extraction units); and Life Technologies (qPCR, thermal cyclers and genetic analyzers). Maintenance contracts are needed to ensure this equipment has annual preventative maintenance and coverage for repairs, ensuring there is no downtime and casework can proceed in an efficient and timely manner. BCI will also add two DNA analysts to its laboratory staff as additional staffing is needed to perform the testing services vacated by the MVRCL. These additional scientists will allow BCI to improve the timeliness of forensic services/DNA analysis it offers.
BCI will also buy six centrifuges to replace the broken instruments. These centrifuges will help increase the DNA lab’s processing capacity.