Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $3,380,629)
CEBR Program FY 2022
Texas Department of Public Safety, Crime Laboratory Division
Forensic DNA Backlog and Database Sample Reduction:
To reduce the number of forensic DNA cases awaiting analysis, the ten Texas Department of Public Safety casework laboratories will work as a team to engage its 170 Forensic DNA Scientists and DNA Technicians to examine evidence, develop DNA profiles, and enter those forensic profiles into the CODIS DNA database. DNA Casework and CODIS DNA Analysts will engage in overtime to complete backlogged offender samples and upload those to the offender database.
In this grant application, funds are being requested to continue the employment of fourteen grant funded FTEs. Ten of those FTEs are Forensic Biology/DNA Analysts and four of the FTEs are for Laboratory Technicians. The goal will be to complete the analysis of evidence on 1,800 backlogged forensic biology/DNA cases during the project period for the 14 grant funded personnel.
Overtime funds are requested to process previously unsubmitted law enforcement Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs) for CODIS entry. Overtime funds will also be used to process other case types at a rate of 1 case for every 8 hours of overtime to decrease the average age of unworked DNA cases. In addition, funding is requested to continue to outsource backlogged DNA cases to an outside vendor. The goal is to outsource 600 DNA cases for analysis to the vendor.
Also, funds are requested to reduce the percentage of CODIS offender and arrestee profiles that take greater than 30 days. Lastly, requested funds will be used to purchase and evaluate Rapid DNA instrument options for future CODIS database capacity enhancements.
In conjunction with this work, DNA scientists will attend continuing education by attending DNA training workshops to retain their proficiency, enhance their skills and improve efficiency.