Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,245,651)
The Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory Division (WSPCLD) is the established public provider of forensic DNA and DNA database services in Washington State (under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 43.43.756). There are 5 existing casework DNA laboratories in the WSPCLD which provide forensic DNA casework services for the entire state of Washington. The WSPCLD also has an existing CODIS database laboratory. The applicable laws requiring collection and analysis of convicted offender DNA samples are sections 43.43.752, 43.43.753, and 43.43.754 of the Revised Code of Washington.
The purpose of the proposed project is twofold: to increase the number of CODIS eligible samples analyzed in WSPCLD DNA casework and database laboratories, and to reduce the forensic case and database sample turnaround time for CODIS entry. This will be achieved through both long-term capacity enhancement activities (e.g. salary/benefits for database laboratory technical leadership, training for both DNA leadership and new hires, and operational data visualization software) and short-term direct case analysis activities (e.g. salary/benefits for critical laboratory support employees, purchase of equipment/supplies, and support continuing education opportunities to ensure all DNA staff satisfy the FBI’s Quality Assurance Standards requirements).
The expected outcomes of these activities are to increase WSPCLD’s capacity to meet the steady rise of submissions, reduce the backlog of samples needing testing, and grow the CODIS database of DNA profiles from crime scene and database samples. These activities will result in more timely investigative leads for law enforcement agencies to aid criminal investigations and increase public safety.
The citizens of Washington are the intended beneficiaries of the proposed project. The proposed project does not include sub-recipients. None of the expenses outlined in the objectives below were previously incorporated as a planned expenditure in the state-funded operating budget.