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The New Mexico Department of Public Safety Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $435,462)

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety is requesting federal CEBR funding to continue its Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Project. The purpose of the program is to process backlogged crime scene samples for CODIS entry and increase the DPS Forensic Laboratory Bureau’s (FLB) capacity to process these crime scene samples for CODIS entry. The DPS FLB has a current backlog of 2,011 DNA cases due to factors such as higher than average violent and property crime rates, little state funding, newly identified previously untested (backlog) sexual assault kits, new legislation, and a high forensic scientist position vacancy rate. Project activities will include training for forensic DNA laboratory staff, providing strategic overtime to lab employees, purchasing lab equipment, and outsourcing DNA testing for non-violent cases. Expected outcomes include significantly increasing the NMDPS FLB’s capacity to process, record, screen, and analyze forensic DNA while decreasing the forensic DNA case backlog. This project will greatly benefit the NMDPS FLB, law enforcement agencies and District Attorney’s offices throughout the state, and citizens who have been harmed by violence who are awaiting justice.

Date Created: September 8, 2023