Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,357,987)
The Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is responsible for testing all DNA/biology cases submitted by law enforcement agencies in Ohio at no cost. Due to the closure of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory's (MVRCL) DNA section, caseloads have continued to increase. BCI must also comply with federal requirements to ensure proper DNA analysis. With budget constraints imposed on the state, there is a lack of funding for BCI forensics scientists to attend training required for compliance. To meet expected caseloads and enhance overall lab capacity, BCI will use federal funding to purchase DNA testing supplies; purchase new centrifuges; purchase new liquid handlers; equipment maintenance and repair contracts; and cover required training costs. These activities will ensure an enhancement in overall timeliness and laboratory capacity.
To decrease backlog and turnaround time, BCI will purchase AmpFLSTR Globalfiler and Trio quantification kits from Life Technologies Corp and Casework Extraction and Maxwell FSC DNA QA Casework kits from Promega. In addition, BCI will purchase maintenance contracts for Tecan robots (Tecan 150 and 100 units); Promega (Maxwell 48 Extraction units); and Life Technologies (qPCR, thermal cyclers and genetic analyzers). Maintenance contracts are needed to ensure this equipment has annual preventative maintenance and coverage for repairs, ensuring there is no downtime and casework can proceed in an efficient and timely manner. A maintenance contract will also be obtained for the 22 ArmedXpert licenses that BCI has in place from NicheVision.
With funding, BCI will also purchase two liquid handlers. The liquid handlers add reagents to samples in preparation for DNA extraction on the Maxwell RSC instruments and allow all 24 locations in each Maxwell RSC rack to be used. The instruments can also be used for setting up DNA quantitation and STR amplification reactions. These liquid handlers will help to increase the capacity of the laboratory to carry out DNA analysis of crime scene samples for inclusion in CODIS.
BCI will also buy six centrifuges to replace the broken instruments. These centrifuges will help increase the DNA lab’s processing capacity.