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FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $345,649)

The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is the state agency that is responsible for analyzing evidence associated with criminal investigations for all state and local law enforcement agencies within the State of Maine. We are the only full-service laboratory in Maine. Maine State law requires our state laboratory to be responsible for conducting DNA analysis on DNA database samples collected from all convicted felons and some misdemeanor offenders; the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is responsible for storing and maintaining the resultant profiles in the Maine DNA Data Bank.

The laboratory faces budgetary concerns which constrain our ability to hire additional state-funded staff. In past years we have been able to significantly reduce casework backlogs with DNA analysts working under this grant funding. We desire to continue with this success that would not be possible without the grant funds. We propose to use grant funds to support the continued part-time salary of one grant-funded DNA analyst.

The area of most significant bottleneck for our laboratory has been at the stage of biology screening. We hired a biology screener under FY14 DNA Backlog Reduction Program funding. Her work was exceptional under that program and continues now under FY15 funding. We propose to continue to employ a grant-funded forensic chemist with FY16 grant funds to process, record, and screen items for biological evidence for DNA testing.

We also face financial constraints on our ability to make large capital equipment purchases. Our 3130 genetic analyzers are aging and each has been taken out of service for needed repairs at least once in the last year. We aim to purchase new, more efficient, genetic analyzers to replace those that have reached the end of their useful lives. The new analyzers we wish to purchase will allow for more efficient batching and continuous analysis.
Therefore, our proposal is to use the federal funding from the FY16 award to continue casework capacity enhancement of the laboratory by continuing to employ one current grant-funded part-time DNA analyst at 30 hours per week, continue to employ one full-time grant-funded Forensic Chemist, and to purchase two replacement genetic analyzers that will be more efficient. nca/ncf

Date Created: September 7, 2016