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BJA FY 23 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $671,824)

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement requests funds for equipment and supplies to integrate an updated automated differential extraction within its laboratory workflow. Sexual offense cases, which most often contain a sexual assault kit (SAK), historically constitute more than approximately one-third of the laboratory system’s caseload. Enhanced efficiency and higher throughput of these types of samples would reduce the overall turnaround time for this type of case, which would also translate to an overall reduction in turn-around-time for all case types. The FDLE proposes replacing aging equipment, which requires additional steps and more manual interference and manipulation than newer instrumentation, with a more efficient solution. The QIAcube has been in use throughout the laboratory system since 2015, and these instruments are approaching end-of-life. The next generation QIAcube Connect is a natural successor. As part of an 11-laboratory statewide crime laboratory system, the six FDLE laboratories serve approximately 89% of the state population. Faster processing of SAKs is positively correlated with increased public safety, as evidentiary profiles are uploaded to CODIS, where associations between cases or to qualifying offenders and arrestees can be made. SAK processing is presently a priority due to existing Florida Statute that mandates a minimum time frame for receipt of the SAK at the lab to reporting. Because FDLE also supports a statewide rape kit tracking system whereby survivors can determine the location and status of their kits, the social impact of faster processing will hopefully result in increased reporting of an underreported violent crime. All violent crimes cases and property crimes are expected to benefit from the time savings associated with the improved equipment.

Date Created: September 8, 2023