Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $205,741)
Funding from this grant will go toward satisfying two ends: increasing the capacity to perform DNA analysis, and reducing the backlog created by uncompleted cases in the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Westchester County New York Division of Forensic Sciences. The accomplishment of these goals is in line with our pledge to provide DNA results to investigating agencies in a timely manner.
Our laboratory has been on-line with STR DNA typing since 1999. In seventeen years the demands on, and expectations of, all forensic case-working laboratories has intensified such that analytical turn-around time must be greatly reduced and the typing techniques employed must be increasingly more sophisticated. Currently our laboratory employs nuclear STR typing and Y-STR typing techniques. In addition, the FBI Quality Assurance Standards, which took effect in July 2009, and the SWGDAM (Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods) Guidelines, which took effect in January 2010, have imposed additional requirements for casework analysis, mixture interpretation and providing statistics for positive associations.
To maintain pace with evolving trends and national accreditation requirements for DNA analysis and to reduce our current backlog of cases to be analyzed for DNA, our laboratory will require new laboratory supplies and equipment, access to training opportunities and travel monies, have a required external QAS audit and the capability to hire temporary laboratory technician support staff. This augmented capacity will enable us to process, record, screen, and analyze forensic DNA samples in order to further reduce the amount of time required to complete casework. We anticipate the momentum created by this optimized work flow will preemptively reduce future bottlenecks at the examination, analytical, and review stages of casework by substantially minimizing our current backlog.