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FY 2023 Pennsylvania State Police DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program - Competitive

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $531,983)

This proposal will provide funding to enable the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Forensic Services (PSP-BFS) to increase its capacity to analyze crime scene samples for upload into CODIS.  By increasing the laboratory’s capacity, it is anticipated to reduce the number of days to complete DNA cases and report the results to law enforcement agencies. 

Project activities include funds to purchase new liquid handling robotic instruments and perform the necessary validation studies in compliance with FBI Quality Assurance Standards.  These new liquid handling robotic instruments will replace older models that are frequently out of service and need repairs.  This proposal will also streamline laboratory methods in order to maximize throughput in the analysis of casework samples.    Overtime and fringe benefits are for DNA personnel to validate, train, and performance check the new instruments using the currently validated STR testing kits.  Funds are also being sought to purchase the STR testing kits used to upload crime scene samples into CODIS.  Funding will also cover the necessary consumables to conduct the studies.  In order to implement these instruments more quickly, funding will be needed to train the existing staff and conduct competency testing by purchasing STR testing kits. 

The Forensic DNA Division provides DNA analysis for the entire commonwealth at no cost to law enforcement agencies.  This includes 67 counties and over 900 police agencies.  The PSP-BFS is an ANAB-accredited laboratory system with six (6) regional crime laboratories and one (1) Forensic DNA Division.  The six (6) regional laboratories screen biological evidence and submit probative items to the DNA Division as well as provide other services such drug analysis, firearms, documents, and latent prints.  The Forensic DNA Division is the state site for CODIS within the commonwealth which includes the DNA convicted offender databank.   All eligible DNA profiles are uploaded into NDIS. 

At the end of the grant period, the laboratory’s aim is to process crime scene samples more efficiently and increase the laboratory’s capacity.  By decreasing the number of days for a case to be completed, DNA profiles can be uploaded into CODIS more quickly and reduce current and anticipated DNA backlogs.  It is hoped this grant will enable this laboratory to report DNA case results and CODIS hits to law enforcement agencies more quickly.

Date Created: September 8, 2023