Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $324,612)
The Oklahoma City Police Forensic DNA laboratory continues to see a significant increase in case submission requests as well as the number of samples to be analyzed per case and is seeking to enhance capacity through purchase of laboratory automation, training & reduction of backlog via outsourcing assistance case work analyst overtime.
The award project will consist of the following goals:
Purchase of laboratory automation. The laboratory seeks to enhance its capacity and efficiency by adding a liquid handling robot as well as a higher capacity DNA extraction robot to allow the laboratory to process more samples consistently with current staffing levels.
Continued analyst training – some funds are being pursued to assist with ongoing professional training conference attendance for DNA analysts.
Outsourcing of CODIS eligible backlogs DNA cases. This goal will involve outsourcing of backlogged cases to private testing laboratory with a goal of reducing the current backlog by around 20%. The laboratory will select and send out cases with CODIS candidate potential. Partnership with external testing laboratory will alleviate backlog and turn-around times.
Overtime for forensic casework - analyst overtime has proved a successful method of rapidly reducing the backlog to manageable levels in a short period of time while maximizing the number and speed of profiles viable for CODIS entry. Since the laboratory is currently seeing a high trend upwards in case submissions for service, this backlog is not expected to decrease anytime soon, utilizing award funds to attempt to reduce the backlog rapidly by at least eighty cases within the award period is anticipated to assist positioning the laboratory in a good standing to move forward and maintain a proactive approach to turn around times on casework. Part of this overtime goal will be to allow the laboratory staff to rapidly perform technical reviews of outsourced casework for NDIS entry. This project will also facilitate cases being worked faster, technical reviews to be conducted and additional profiles being uploaded into CODIS.
- Implementation of the BERLA iVE vehicle system forensic tool to fortify investigative methods and strengthen criminal prosecutions for restoring justice and safety for victims and the community.
- Training and Enforcement Projects: Digital Forensic Specialist, Forensic Technician and Crime/Intelligence Analyst continuing education; traffic enforcement and surveillance eqipment
- FY23 Tribal Resources Grant Hiring Program (TRGP-Hire)