Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $499,700)
The purpose of the project is to improve quality and timeliness of work performed by The Forensic Services Division (The Lab) of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) by implementing a new, fully integrated Laboratory Information Management System and Property and Evidence Management System (LIMS/PEMS). The new system will completely replace The Lab’s fragmented set of disparate systems and manual processes (spreadsheets, logs and workarounds) that has been in place for more than 10 years. The current situation has resulted in excessive administrative work, reduced time for analysis and increased risk to the SCSO.
The primary activities will be centered around the implementation of the new system. Implementation represents an entire set of individual activities around preparing for and accomplishing integration of the closed case data, improvement of current processes to reflect the new system’s ability to complete many tasks automatically, create customized elements, including reports and complete user acceptance validation testing. All these activities will be completed before the system rollout is completed by Q2 of Year 3 of the grant cycle.
Once completed, the project will result in multiple positive impacts on workflow, outcomes, and overall lab improvements. Workflow impacts include improved processes based on the new system functionality and evidence handling improvements based on the Property and Evidence Management System (PEMS). Improvements in outcomes focus on quality and timeliness improvements based on the new system performance. Finally, overall lab improvements are a by-product of workflow and outcome impacts.
SCSO will provide reporting on performance measures that add credence to the performance of the new system and validate timeliness concerning the project timeline.
The service area for this project is Seminole County, Florida. The Lab provides forensic analysis and evidence tracking support to investigators and deputies from the Sheriff’s Office and the eight independent, police departments in Seminole County.
The direct intended beneficiaries are The Lab staff and leadership. They will be working with the new system and will reap the most direct rewards. Secondary beneficiaries include the customers and community we serve. With the workflow processes becoming more efficient through automation, the time spent will be captured and utilized on case work and completion of work tasks. The Lab’s responses will be timelier, more accurate and will include analysis of patterns and other data as available. Finally, the SCSO will have reduced risk through adherence to accreditation standards.