Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $100,000)
The St. Tammany Parish Coroners Office (STPCO) currently hosts a fully equipped laboratory that performs forensic DNA casework for the St. Tammany Parish area. The DNA unit at the STPCO is accredited by ASCLD-LAB and undergoes an external audit every two years in order to maintain their accreditation and CODIS eligibility. Presently, the DNA unit at the STPCO sends all eligible profiles to the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory CODIS unit for upload into NDIS. All DNA analyses performed under this program are maintained as mandated by the federal privacy regulations. The goals of the project funded by this grant are as follows:
1. Reduce forensic DNA case/sample turnaround time.
2. Increase the throughput of the DNA unit at STPCO.
3. Reduce forensic DNA backlogged cases.
The STPCO intends to achieve the above listed goals by purchasing equipment and conducting validations that will aid in reducing bottlenecking situations within the laboratory, as well as, increasing analyst workflow. To keep up with the demand of case submissions, STPCO has hired more personnel. Due to the increase in DNA personnel and CODIS changes coming in the near future additional equipment is needed. The purchase of additional equipment will allow the STPCO to increase capacity and reduce the backlog. With a decrease in backlog, the laboratory will expect shorter sample turnaround times, and a heightened throughput. This will ultimately allow the DNA unit to better serve its agencies.
In the 2016 allocation table, the State of Louisiana is estimated to receive a total amount of $1,088,169. It is the intent of STPCO to share these funds corporately between the six accredited public laboratories performing DNA analysis in Louisiana. The anticipated breakdown is as follows:
Acadiana Criminalistics Laboratory- $116,875
Jefferson Parish Sherriffs Office- $103,782
Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory- $396,398
North Louisiana Crime Laboratory- $271,114
St. Tammany Parish Coroners Office- $100,000
Southwest Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory- $100,000. nca/ncf