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FY 2023 Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $3,378,789)

The Texas Department of Public Safety faces challenges completing analysis of non-sexual assault evidence since the passage of Government Code 420.042 which requires the analysis of sexual assault evidence in 90 days. The Department has met that expectation but doing so resulted in the de-facto de-prioritization of other case types due to resourcing. In combination, over the last two state fiscal years, there has been a 13% increase in submissions from Law Enforcement Agencies for Forensic Biology related analysis. As the size of the Texas forensic sample index in CODIS increases, the number of offender hits increase which requires match verification in the database lab. Due to inflation, costs related to testing in both database and casework samples (such as equipment and software) have increased and are becoming financially out of reach without the support of federal grant funding.

In this grant application, funds are being requested to aid in meeting the goals of processing crime scene samples for CODIS entry, processing database samples for CODIS entry, and for capacity enhancement in both areas.

Our objectives to meet the goal of processing crime scene samples for CODIS entry include: the continued employment of fourteen grant funded Forensic Biology/DNA Analysts and Laboratory Technicians, providing overtime funding for DNA analysts, and to continue the renewal of our probabilistic genotyping software licensing.

Our objective to meet the goal of processing database samples for CODIS entry includes the provision of overtime for our CODIS DNA personnel to process eligible database samples that are over 30 days.

Funds are requested to increase capacity to process crime scene and database samples for CODIS entry, and the associated objectives include: continued employment of four Assistant Technical Leaders and a R&D Program Specialist (future hires), provide overtime funding to complete validation of equipment and training, allow for travel/training for continued education and licensing compliance, and for small renovation projects in several labs across the state.

Date Created: September 8, 2023