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FY 23 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program - St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office (Indian River Crime Laboratory)

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $250,000)

This laboratory services the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, which is the intended beneficiary for this project.  The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida includes Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties.  The purpose of this proposed project is to increase the number of biological crime scene samples processed and to increase the capacity to process biological crime scene samples.  In order to accomplish this proposed project, this laboratory will perform the following activities.

First, several bottlenecks in the biological screening and DNA analysis process will be addressed by maintaining a CEBR-funded laboratory support personnel, obtaining supplies critical for the DNA analysis process, and implementing two new instruments in the DNA analysis process.  These activities are expected to maintain the current capacity to process samples, decrease the turnaround time, and increase the laboratory’s capacity to process crime scene samples.  Second, the laboratory will outsource evidence from old cases to a vendor laboratory and the subsequent technical review process to a third-party vendor.  This will help process an increased number of crime scene samples by processing these older samples while analyst resources remain on processing samples from current cases.  Additionally, the laboratory will update hardware and software associated with the DNA analysis process and contract for maintenance and service of critical DNA instruments.  Both are expected to help maintain the laboratory’s capacity to process crime scene samples by preventing and quickly responding to any equipment failures.  Finally, analysts will travel to and attend conferences that have topics associated with forensic DNA analysis, and one staff member will attend the award-mandated training.  These conferences/trainings will help the analysts achieve the continuing education that is required for accreditation and will help the laboratory secure funding for the above activities.

Date Created: September 8, 2023