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Johnson County Sheriff's Office Criminalistics Laboratory's plan to increase the number of cases processed and entered into CODIS, thereby reducing turn-around times for CODIS entry.

Award Information

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

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

Johnson County is the most populous county in the state of Kansas with an estimated population of 619,195 (2022 census.gov). The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory (JCSOCL) provides services at no cost to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies within the county.  As is the trend across the country requests for biology examination and DNA analysis have increased over the last several years resulting in increased backlogs and turnaround times. 

Continual improvements to efficiency have been made to the Biology section including new technologies, rapid screening techniques, and additional personnel.  With the improvements the JCSOCL has made, bottlenecks still exist.  These are typically the most difficult to address.  They include biology evidence examination, presumptive biology testing, interpreting DNA results, report writing and technical review all of which are far less amendable to automation. 

The JCSOCL has three outlined objectives that are designed to address these bottlenecks and help to increase laboratory throughput, reduce the turn-around times and reduce the backlog of cases awaiting DNA analysis. Objective one is to retain one full time grant funded FS position and one full time Technician position.  Objective two is to provide overtime to personnel to work Biology/DNA cases including technical review.  Objective three is to purchase a service and maintenance agreement for PACE software (5 licenses) and temperature verification annual maintenance for six Proflex thermal cyclers. 

During the funding period the FS and technician are expected to have completed introductory training and both will be working in a technician capacity.  Also during this time, the FS will be completing DNA analysis training.  Providing overtime for personnel has been a time proven approach for increasing productivity.  During a one-year period the DNA section has completed approximately 240 cases/767 samples using grant funded overtime.  Of the overtime cases worked approximately 127 samples were entered into CODIS which resulted in 56 CODIS hits.  The annual maintenance contracts are necessary to ensure that samples continue being processed without interruption by the laboratory.  Taken together these steps will enhance capacity, increase the number of DNA samples processed while decreasing turnaround times for CODIS entry using analysts, technicians and overtime to solve crime.

Date Created: September 8, 2023