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To enhance the workflow in the analysis of DNA from biological evidence in order to reduce the backlog of items tested.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
New York
Congressional District
Awarded, but not yet accepted
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $526,741)

The Monroe County Crime Laboratory (MCCL) is an ANAB-accredited crime laboratory providing services to twenty four police agencies in Monroe, Livingston and Genesee counties in New York State. For at least four years before the MCCL brought DNA online as a discipline in 1999, the lab’s biologists had been retaining evidence for DNA analysis, which meant there was a backlog of cases awaiting DNA right from the start. The demand for testing far exceeded capacity, and the lab has faced challenges associated with its staffing and resources that have waxed and waned over the past two decades. Over the past three years, case submissions have been increasing 10-15% annually.

The last several years have been spent enhancing our capacity to process forensic cases by validating and implementing new DNA test kits and instruments and training new staff members. Although the new kits and instruments have reduced the time it takes to process casework samples, the time spent on validation and training took time away from casework.

Retention of experienced analysts and training of new employees have been consistent challenges. The current biology section is comprised of ten full-time analysts, a DNA Technical Leader, and a full-time laboratory assistant, and requires supplies for screening and DNA analysis of CODIS-eligible samples, proficiency tests, and continuing education to maintain compliance with the FBI’s Quality Assurance Standards (QAS). 
The overarching goal of this project is to maintain stability in our staff and processes so we can shift our priority to backlog reduction while maintaining compliance with the QAS.  Our main objectives are to assign, analyze and issue reports for a minimum of fifty cases per month by the end of the project period and to enter all eligible DNA profiles into CODIS.  If received, the primary uses of funding would be for supplies to analyze a minimum of 250 DNA cases, for maintaining accreditation requirements, and for validation of software to reduce analysis time and improve the number of CODIS profiles that can be generated from mixtures.

Date Created: September 8, 2023