U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

FY 2023 Reduction of DNA Sample Backlog

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $313,077)

San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States, with a population of approximately 1.42 million. The Crime Laboratory serves the approximately 1,900 sworn members of the Police Department. DNA remains a vitally important part of the investigators’ approach to their casework, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in the number of submitted DNA laboratory requests. The DNA Unit completed approximately 1,027 cases in 2022, a nearly 410% increase from the 250 cases analyzed in 2000. Approximately 1,320 DNA requests were received in the laboratory in 2022. As detectives are used to receiving highly relevant information from our Criminalists, and as those same detectives endure their own staffing shortages and overwhelming workloads, more and more items are submitted for analysis in the hopes that we might be able to provide investigative leads. The successes we have with probabilistic genotyping mixture interpretation have generated a significantly higher number of CODIS searchable profiles, providing our customers with useful information we previously were not able to obtain. Without grant funding to supply current instrumentation, overtime funding, additional staffing, and training, our laboratory would not be able to meet the needs of the residents of San Diego effectively. We aim to utilize these grant funds to meet the increased demands for sexual assault evidence examination and continue to employ consistently high case productivity while decreasing turnaround times. We plan to do this with a combination of overtime funding, support staff funding, additional instruments, and additional training for our analysts. We seek $313,077 in grant funds to achieve some important specific results. 1. Reduce the average turnaround time on DNA cases to below 50 days.2. Increase the average number of samples analyzed per analyst per month to 50. 3. Reduce the backlog (cases over 30 days) by approximately 10%. 4. Provide mandated training to all analysts in the DNA laboratory. 5. Increase casework throughput with continued employment of a full-time laboratory technician.6. Increase capacity to obtain more CODIS entries from samples taken from crime scenes.

Date Created: September 8, 2023