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

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $444,551)

The geographic location of Fresno County is approximately an equal distance between the major metropolitan areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the Central San Joaquin Valley. From east to west, the County's boundaries extend 135 miles, encompassing a geographical area of 6,017 square miles with the Coast Mountain Range to the west and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to the east. Fresno County has a population of 990,204 that is expected to grow 3% annually in the future.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory provides services for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.  The forensic laboratory has four Criminalists that are trained and qualified to perform STR analysis.  Due to staffing needs and the growing demand for DNA analysis, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory needs to find a way to reduce backlogged DNA casework and increase our capacity. The Sheriff’s Office has over 10 unsolved homicide/rape cases that need to be examined for potential DNA evidence. DNA cases can take from 60 to 90 days from request to final report, due to the size of our staff and the number of samples that detectives are requesting. The forensic laboratory is seeking $444,551 in federal funds to decrease the backlog/turnaround time and to increase the capacity of cases from the DNA unit. This will be accomplished by using grant funds to add a new Criminalist to the lab and for continued funding another Criminalist position, send DNA four staff members to the 2025 ISHI conferences, maintenance service contracts for two 3500 Genetic Analyzers, one EZ1 and two EZ2 robotic extraction units, two Quant Studio 5 Realtime PCR units, 5 licenses and maintenance contracts for STRmix computer systems and use funding for private fee for services vendors to reduce the number of backlogged DNA cases.  The result will be a reduction in the number of days from request to issuing final DNA results to our clients and a reduction in the numbers of backlogged DNA cases.

Date Created: September 8, 2023