Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $475,108)
The Crime Laboratory is expected to experience budget cycles in which no new growth requests for DNA positions will be approved for the next two fiscal years. In the past three years, the Crime Laboratory has lost three full-time qualified DNA analysts due to retirements or promotions. Despite these challenges, the Crime Laboratory is committed to meeting the DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program goals of 1) increasing the number of CODIS eligible samples analyzed and 2) increasing the capacity to process evidence samples.
The first goal will be accomplished by continuing the grant funding of one DNA analyst to analyze evidence associated with designated crime cases to increase the number of CODIS eligible samples analyzed which will support a decrease in the laboratory’s DNA backlog. In addition, the Crime Laboratory will use grant funds for three DNA analysts to travel to a national DNA conference to satisfy their continuing education requirements and learn about new DNA innovations, instruments, and technologies. To fulfill the capacity enhancement goal, the Crime Laboratory’s DNA Technical Lead will be funded by the CEBR grant to perform and oversee validations including the ThermoFisher Applied Biosystems HID NIMBUS Presto System as well as to oversee the training of two new DNA Technicians/Analysts. The ability to increase a laboratory's capacity is based on the implementation of instruments and technology designed to increase efficiency. Integrating newly qualified DNA Technicians/Analysts into DNA casework will also support the goal of increasing the capacity to process more evidence samples.