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DNA Backlog Reduction: Orangeburg Dept. of Public Safety Forensics is seeking funding to reduce severe backlog of cases being processed by SLED as well as reduce processing time.

Award Information

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

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

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Forensic DNA Laboratory proposes to hire an additional grant funded DNA analyst for each year of the grant award. The DNA analyst will dedicate 100% of their duties to analyze backlogged DNA cases with possible CODIS eligible profiles, review DNA casework, perform quality assurance on chemicals used for DNA analysis, and perform instrument calibrations.  Expected outcomes include increasing the number of backlogged cases analyzed with a faster turn-around-time, entering more CODIS profiles, returning more CODIS hits, providing investigators with more investigative leads which will ultimately lead to more arrests. The citizens of the City of Orangeburg and the County of Orangeburg will benefit from their cases being resolved more quickly. ODPS also analyzes cases for Claflin University and South Carolina State University.  
Secondly, the laboratory proposes to contract a service agreement for critical instrumentation used to analyze DNA casework samples. The purpose of the service agreement is to ensure instrumentation are properly calibrated and maintained in good working condition. The service agreement will provide faster service from manufacturer technicians should an instrument need repairs which would decrease the amount of time an instrument would be out of service. The expected outcome would include preventing the need to pause DNA analysis due to instrumentation needing repairs or waiting an extended period for those repairs; thus, preventing an increase in backlog and preventing the inability to analyze expedited cases with CODIS eligible samples.  The service contract would benefit the DNA analysts by providing continuous analysis of DNA casework without delay.
Lastly, the laboratory proposes to contract the annual maintenance agreement with the statistical software vendor. The maintenance fee would ensure the software is up-to-date and functioning properly and efficiently. Without the maintenance fee, the vendor will not provide technical support for issues that may arise. The expected outcome of contracting the annual maintenance fee is keeping the statistical software operating efficiently and having the necessary technical support. This would benefit the DNA analysts by ensuring a statistical calculation can always be performed. This would also fulfil the FBI Quality Assurance Standards which require a weight be reported for an inclusion of an individual found on evidence samples.

Date Created: September 8, 2023