Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)
Applicant: Office of the Nassau County District Attorney
Project period: 10/01/22-9/30/25
Total funds requested: $499,991.25
Recognizing that closing violent crime cold cases brings violent offenders to justice, protects society from dangerous individuals, and provides closure to surviving families, the Office of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office (“NCDA”) seeks $499,991.25 in funding to expand its Cold Case Unit (“CCU) to implement a “Violent Crime Cold Case Initiative” within a 36-month project period. Specifically, the NCDA intends to (1) expand its current cold case review efforts; (2) increase the CCU’s capacity, (3) enhance inter-agency cooperation through data sharing and improved relationships with partner agencies, (4) dedicate staffing to target violent crime cold homicide cases where DNA from a suspect has been identified, (5) enter all non-DNA evidentiary information into the appropriate databases, and (6) enter all “criteria” cases into the ViCAP and NamUs databases to increase the chances of identifying/apprehending violent offenders who pose a threat to public safety. Funding from this grant would be allocated to the base salary (and fringe) of two experienced prosecutors, and administrative personnel to staff the CCU, training costs for CCU prosecutors, and overtime for Nassau County Lab forensic analysts working with the NCDA on violent crime cold cases, where DNA from a suspect has been identified.
To function properly, the expanded CCU will be staffed with three (3) senior prosecutors with a combination of experience in homicide, violent felony, and sexual assault cases (one of which will serve as the CCU Supervisor/Project Lead), two (2) detective investigators, a crime victim advocate, and administrative support staff. As required by this Solicitation, there will be a person dedicated to entering all “criteria” cases into ViCAP, NamUs, and relevant non-DNA databases, which will increase the chances of identifying/apprehending violent offenders who pose a threat to public safety. CCU members will meet bi-weekly to share data, discuss new intelligence, and update any cold case summary.
Recognizing that successful cold case units engage outside agencies, the NCDA’s CCU intends to partner with the NCPD, NC Lab, Office of Immigrant Affairs (to promote outreach efforts in communities where working with law enforcement is a concern), and the SAFE Center (to provide counseling, medical care, and other victim-related services). Having these agencies as joint stakeholders/partners from the outset will foster good will, reaffirm the NCDA’s commitment to case resolution and enhance public safety for the community.